Casey Anthony enters the courtroom for the start of the 13th day of her murder trial at the Orange County Courthouse today in Orlando, Fla. Anthony, 25, is charged with killing her daughter Caylee in the summer of 2008. (AP Photo/Joe Burbank, Pool)
By KYLE HIGHTOWER
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A police computer forensics expert testified Wednesday in the trial of Casey Anthony, the Florida mother charged with killing her 2-year-old daughter.
Sandra Osborne of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office was called by prosecutors to testify about photos and Internet searches on a desktop computer at Anthony’s home. Prosecutors have said previously that an Internet search on chloroform was conducted with the computer. Osborne said her analysis of the computer found searches for chloroform in the deleted space in the computer’s memory.
Forensics scientists testified this week that high levels of chloroform were found in Anthony’s car. Chloroform is a chemical that is associated with human decomposition but the compound also can be used to render a person unconscious.
Osborne also testified that searches were also done on the Anthony family computer for the name Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez. Casey Anthony initially told authorities that a nanny by that name kidnapped her toddler Caylee. But the searches were not until July 16, 2008 — 31 days after prosecutors say the 2-year-old first went missing. The same search was also done on a computer belonging to Casey Anthony’s former boyfriend, Ricardo Morales, and didn’t yield a hit for the name.
Caylee Anthony’s bones were found in woods near the home in December 2008, almost six months after she was last seen by her grandparents.
Casey Anthony could be sentenced to death if convicted of first-degree murder. She has pleaded not guilty and her defense attorney says Caylee accidentally drowned in the family’s swimming pool.
Under cross-examination, defense attorney Jose Baez pointed that though there were two user-created accounts on Anthony’s desktop, that didn’t mean that no one else could have used the computer for the chloroform searches.
Prosecutors also called a police dog handler to the witness stand Wednesday. Sgt. Kristin Brewer testified that her K-9 partner, Bones, was alerted to decomposition in the backyard of the home that Anthony shared with her daughter and parents during a search in July 2008. Another police dog handler testified a day earlier that his K-9 partner also detected decomposition in the backyard, as well as in the trunk of Anthony’s car.
Neither K-9 partner was able to detect decomposition during a second visit to the Anthony home. When asked why, Brewer said that whatever had been in the yard was either moved or the odor dissipated.