Prosecution Rests, Judge Denies Acquittal Request in Casey Anthony Murder Trial

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Casey Anthony cries during her murder trial at the Orange County Courthouse in Orlando, Florida, May 24, 2011.

After weeks in court at the Orange Country Courthouse in Orlando, the state of Florida now rests its case in the Casey Anthony murder trial.

It is perhaps the most talked about trial today, and continues to elicit attention and news coverage nationwide.  And now that the prosecution rests, analysts speculate the likelihood of a conviction for Casey, a mother accused of killing her two-year old daughter, Caylee, on June 16, 2008.

(MORE: Why Are Americans Obsessed with the Casey Anthony Trial?)

After the defense completes its case, the jury will determine whether they believe 25-year old Anthony murdered her two-year old daughter, or, as the defense will contend, simply had disastrous judgment following what Anthony claims was an accidental drowning in her grandparents’ pool.

The prosecution in this case has offered primarily circumstantial evidence, including inconsistency in Anthony’s early accounts, and medical examinations.  For 31 days Anthony neglected to tell anyone that her daughter was missing, a time gap difficult for the defense to account for.  In addition, early in the trial Anthony’s team admitted that a story of a nanny responsible for Caylee’s kidnapping had been a fabrication.

Only after six months were Caylee’s remains located in the woods near her grandparents’ home, but toxicology tests proved inconclusive in determining how Caylee died.

Casey Anthony’s defense team did motion for the case to be dismissed on lack of evidence, a ruling for which Anthony would be acquitted.  However, presiding judge Belvin Perry denied this motion earlier today.

Defense attorney Cheney Mason said, “The state has stacked up inferences, but has presented no solid evidence.”  Mason disputes that any solid proof had been offered by the prosecution.  He plans to offer that Casey Anthony’s seemingly inexplicable behavior may be a result of having been sexually abused by her father, George.

Instilling a “reasonable doubt” is the defense’s hope.  Many wonder, as the defense is set to begin this Thursday, whether or not Anthony will take the stand.  In the event that she does, there is little doubt that her testimony will absolutely captivate those who’ve followed the trial.

If convicted, Casey Anthony faces the death penalty.  And as the prosecution rests, intrigue heightens around what the defense will bring to this trial.

(LIST: Top 10 Crime Stories of 2008)

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