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Jury begins deliberating in Casey Anthony trial

July 4, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
After 45 days of arguments, jurors began deliberating in the Casey Anthony murder trial after prosecutors argued she killed her daughter.

The 25-year-old is charged with murdering her 2-year-old daughter Caylee Anthony three years ago.

Monday, prosecutors gave their rebuttal closing argument, saying no one ever makes an accident look like murder. Prosecutor Jeff Ashton told the jury that the defense never showed proof of how Caylee Anthony died.

Prosecutors contend the defendant suffocated her daughter with duct tape in June 2008.

"What do guilty people do? They lie," said lead prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick. "They avoid. They run. They mislead, not just to their family but the police. They divert attention away from themselves and they act like nothing is wrong."

The state posed a question- whose life was better without Caylee Anthony? They answered it by showing jurors a picture of a tattoo Casey Anthony got after the toddler disappeared with the words "bella vita," which translated from Italian says "the beautiful life." They also showed photos of the defendant dancing with friends after her daughter's disappearance.

The defense claims that the prosecution's case is purely circumstantial and does not meet the rigorous standards required to convict on a capital murder charge.

Her attorneys contend Caylee Anthony accidentally drowned in the family pool. They say Casey Anthony's father decided to make the death look like a homicide after the defendant panicked.

At one point during the closing arguments Sunday, the defense called out the prosecution for laughing. The judge immediately asked jurors to leave while he gave the attorneys a stern warning.

The defense also suffered a setback when the judge ruled they could not bring up allegations that Casey Anthony was molested by her father.

Prosecutors portrayed Casey Anthony as a lying, selfish party girl who murdered her daughter to free herself of the burdens of motherhood.

Casey Anthony cried during the closing arguments as prosecutors told the jury she suffocated her daughter to death.

Criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor Holly Hughes said it's possible that the jury could be split in their opinions, ending up with a compromised verdict.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Casey Anthony could be sentenced to death. She also faces manslaughter and child abuse charges, each carrying a 30-year sentence.

ABC News contributed to this story


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