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Ex-prosecutor knocks Casey Anthony lawyer

November 15, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
A book on the Casey Anthony case, written by one of the prosecutors, is out, and in it, he called her lead attorney "swarmy."

In "Imperfect Justice: Prosecuting Casey Anthony," Jeff Ashton, who is now retired, accused Jose Baez of being careless with the facts and encouraging Anthony not to cooperate with investigators searching for her daughter.

Ashton said Anthony's attorneys tried to get her to take a plea deal near the end of the trial, but she refused.

He also wrote that he would have been happier if the prosecution team had left the death penalty off the table.

"Personally, I think I would have been happier if the death penalty had not been reintroduced into the case, even though I think on some level I think Casey may have deserved it," he said in the 324-page book. "Simply put, I just didn't think the jury would go there."

Anthony was eventually acquitted of the murder of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee. Ashton's book is the first account of the trial written by one of the key players.

Baez said many of Ashton's accusations are false.

"Having read several of the comments Mr. Ashton makes in his new book, I am both surprised and somewhat disappointed he has chosen to attack me on a personal level," Baez said in a statement.

Ashton also gave an unflattering view of the jurors, saying they seemed to give a lot of thought and discussion to which movies they wanted to watch or which restaurants to go to while they were sequestered. He pointed out that no juror asked a single question about the evidence during deliberation.

"From the moment our jury had been fielded ... we'd had concerns over their apparent absence of strong opinions as well as over the amount of effort they seemed willing to expend on this," Ashton writes. "In retrospect, I think those concerns were justified."

The book, for the first time, also disclosed the results of two psychological evaluations taken of Anthony.

Anthony told the psychologists that she was sexually abused by her father, but tests to diagnose stress from trauma such as sexual molestation didn't support the theory that she had been molested, Ashton wrote.

He said that when prosecutors met with George Anthony a few weeks before the trial began to give him a heads up about the molestation accusations, George Anthony appeared devastated.

"George looked like he had been crying, like someone had just killed Caylee all over again," Ashton wrote.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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