ORLANDO, Fla. – A Florida mother charged with killing her 2-year-old daughter began crying Tuesday as a prosecutor described the child's last day in opening statements in the first-degree murder trial.
Casey Anthony wiped away tears as prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick gave her opening statement. Drane Burdick told jurors that all the evidence points to the 25-year-old defendant as the murderer of Caylee Anthony, who was gone for a month before her grandmother alerted police that she was missing.
"It is time to tell the story of a little girl named Caylee," Drane Burdick said
Casey Anthony has pleaded not guilty and says a baby sitter kidnapped the girl. The prosecutor told jurors that the baby sitter was made up.
If convicted, Casey Anthony could face the death penalty.
Drane Burdick offered a timeline of Casey Anthony's whereabouts based on cell phone records. The timeline stretched from the time Caylee was last seen by her grandparents on Father's Day on June 15, 2008, until her remains were discovered by a meter reader in woods near her home in December 2008. Jurors were shown images on a screen of a photo of Caylee taken on Father's Day alongside an image of the little girl's skeletal remains.
Casey Anthony waited a month before telling her mother that Caylee had disappeared, and only after her parents, George and Cindy, recovered from the towing lot a car with a foul odor that Casey Anthony had been driving.
Drane Burdick asked jurors, between descriptions of how Casey Anthony spent her days shopping, visiting friends and hanging out with her boyfriend with no signs of her daughter, "Where is Caylee Marie Anthony?"
The prosecutor described Casey Anthony's appearance as a hardworking single mother as false.
"Casey Anthony ... appeared to be ... a loving mother, trying to provide support for her daughter," Drane Burdick said. "But as the evidence in this case will show, that was an illusion."
The trial has attracted national attention and dozens of people lined up in the early morning hours to be one of the few spectators allowed into the courtroom. Television personalities Geraldo Rivera and Nancy Grace sat in the courtroom gallery.
Brett Schulman, a 51-year-old professional poker player, arrived at the Orlando courthouse at 4 a.m. to snag the first spectator seat.
"It's the largest case in central Florida history," Schulman said. "And it's in my backyard."
Associated Press writer Mike Schneider contributed to this report.
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