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Dissecting George Anthony's Testimony: How Casey's Defense Turned Her Father Into a Witness for the Prosecution

From allegations of abuse to tears of grief, did Casey Anthony's defense turn her father into a witness for the prosecution?

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," June 29, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Tonight: George Anthony sobbing on the witness stand. Casey Anthony's father loses it in court, defense attorney Jose Baez asking George about a conversation he had with the lead detective on the case.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSE BAEZ, CASEY ANTHONY'S ATTORNEY: You told him that something had happened to Caylee and Casey was lying.

GEORGE ANTHONY, CASEY'S FATHER: Sir, definitely something happened to Caylee. She's no longer with us. And Casey was the last one that I saw with Caylee. One and one adds up to two, sir, in my mind. And no matter how you're trying to spin it, I'm upset because my granddaughter is missing. I don't know where she's at. I was told that someone had taken my granddaughter, forcibly removed her from my daughter, or my daughter dropped her off at some house.

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I'm trying to put all the stories and information together, sir. Was I running on pure emotion and drive and demanding answers? That is my right as a father and a grandfather and as whatever you want to spin it. Was I upset and falling apart at the moment?

Absolutely. My family was being torn apart. And for to you say that I was doing something...

BAEZ: I'm going to object ...

GEORGE ANTHONY: ... wrong, sir, you're wrong.

BAEZ: ... witness commenting on counsel's questions.

JUDGE BELVIN PERRY: (INAUDIBLE) just listen. Next question, Mr. Baez.

BAEZ: Yes, sir. Now, on July 24th, you went in and made this statement to law enforcement that you had smelled that car and you smelled human decomposition.

GEORGE ANTHONY: Yes, sir.

BAEZ: And you were sure of it.

GEORGE ANTHONY: I'm 100 percent positive. I could smell it three feet away on the passenger's side. When I opened up that car door, yes, it smelled like decomposition, human decomposition.

You're trying to take this joy of my life away from me, sir, and you can't do it anymore.

BAEZ: Would you like to...

GEORGE ANTHONY: I have -- I'm going to answer this to you, sir. The decomposition that I smelled in the trunk of my daughter's car on July 15th, 2008, at Johnson's towing, smelled like human decomposition...

BAEZ: Would you like...

GEORGE ANTHONY: ... to me, sir. That is what it smelled like to me.

BAEZ: You, of course, would never admit to molesting your child, would you, sir.

CASEY ANTHONY PROSECUTOR: Objection. Argumentative.

JUDGE PERRY: Overruled. He can answer the question, if he can.

GEORGE ANTHONY: Sir, I never would do anything like that to my daughter.

BAEZ: My question is, you would never admit to it, would you, sir.

GEORGE ANTHONY: Sir, I would never do anything to harm my daughter in that way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you were giving the statement on July 24th, 2008, that Mr. Baez discussed with you at length, did you ever tell the police that you thought your daughter murdered your granddaughter?

GEORGE ANTHONY: I didn't believe that at that time, sir. I -- I -- no.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Had you held out the hope that Caylee would be found alive?

GEORGE ANTHONY: Absolutely. Every day from July 15th until the day we were told it was Caylee!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In January of 2009, you went -- I'll give you a moment.

JUDGE PERRY: Does the witness need a break?

JUDGE PERRY: Do you need a break Mr. Anthony?

GEORGE ANTHONY: No, sir. I need to get through this! I need to have something inside of me get through this!

I called my family -- my sisters, my mother, my father, basically, to tell them good-bye, even though I didn't say that. I just told them not to worry. I wanted to -- I needed at that time to go and be with Caylee!

BAEZ: And you expressed that in the note.

GEORGE ANTHONY: Yes, I did. Because I believe I failed her!

BAEZ: What was your purpose in purchasing this firearm?

GEORGE ANTHONY: I wanted to get answers from people that I believed were involved with my granddaughter missing.

BAEZ: These were friends or associates of your daughter that you felt had some information that they were not giving up?

GEORGE ANTHONY: Yes.

BAEZ: And you were going to use that gun to force them, at gunpoint, to tell you what happened to your granddaughter.

GEORGE ANTHONY: Yes.

BAEZ: You knew if a firearm was found in that house that Casey would have to go right back to jail, correct?

GEORGE ANTHONY: Correct.

BAEZ: And in fact, when they caught -- when -- when -- as soon as you drove up, within hours, Department of Corrections was there.

GEORGE ANTHONY: Correct.

BAEZ: And they almost took Casey right back to jail, didn't they.

GEORGE ANTHONY: Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: Now, the court finally hears from Casey Anthony. No, she didn't testify, but she did talk. The day started out with Casey sitting alone. Her trial lawyers were late. Casey's death penalty motion lawyer, though, was on the phone with the judge, arguing for a mistrial for Casey, and the judge needed to be sure Casey agreed with the request for a mistrial.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PERRY: Unfortunately, they are not here. Ms. Anthony is at counsel table alone. Ms. Anthony, do you want to answer that question now or do you want to wait until Mr. Baez or Mr. Mason or Ms. Simms arrive?

CASEY ANTHONY, DEFENDANT: I can answer that now.

PERRY: OK.

CASEY ANTHONY: I agree with Ms. Finnell.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: Fox Orlando's Holly Bristow joins us. And Holly, let's just talk for a second about the fact that the lawyers were late. I've seen that courthouse. It's I don't know how many stories tall and just a few elevators. I'm not (SIC) surprised the lawyers were only late once.

HOLLY BRISTOW, WOFL CORRESPONDENT: You know, it is a 23-story courthouse, and this is up in what I call the penthouse. It's up on the 23rd floor. It's the largest courtroom there.

But Greta, this is no shock that the lines are long. They've not only been that way since this trial began, they've been here in the four years that I've been working in Orlando and covering the courts. And it's only gotten worse since this case began.

Not only did they have this major motion on the table today that they were scheduled to have heard by the judge today and to be arguing, the judge made an order last week that every single attorney needs to be in his courtroom by 8:30 just in case anything needs to take place while the jury is out, before they come in, in the morning.

Her attorney, Cheney Mason, by my watch was 10 minutes late. They'd pretty much wrapped everything up. Jose Baez, 20 minutes late. One of my colleagues from FOX was out in the hallway after this and saw Cindy Anthony ripping into Jose Baez for leaving her daughter sitting alone at that table while this motion was being heard, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, well, the drama continues behind the scenes. All right, now, let me ask you about George Anthony. What was the purpose of calling this father back to the stand by the defense and basically -- and grilling him and essentially making him -- you know, hitting every single sensitive point with him?

BRISTOW: That's a darn good question, Greta. It seemed like the main point that they were trying to get out of him was whether he had ever molested his daughter or not. Jose Baez was saying, you know, if you molest a child under the age of 12, that will put you in jail for the rest of your life. Did this happen? He said no. He said, Would you even tell the truth if this did happen?

And George pretty much said, I have absolutely nothing to hide. This man up there crying uncontrollably had everybody in the courtroom just -- attention completely on him. There were people that were just spectators in there, Greta, who I saw with tears pouring out of their eyes. That's just how powerful his testimony was today. So I'm not exactly sure -- go ahead.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, there's been a lot of -- there's been a lot of jumping up and down, getting on the witness stand, getting off the witness stand. Never seen anything like it in a court, but I understand it's done that way in Florida state court. But I'm curious, had he ever been on the witness stand before in this trial in front the jury and answered that question?

BRISTOW: Yes. He was asked that by the prosecution. Right after opening statements, when Jose Baez made those accusations that he molested his daughter and that he was there the day that Caylee died and allegedly drowned in the pool, George Anthony got up and said no to both of those things, that neither of them ever happened.

But it was -- he just kept pushing him. And George obviously had this huge outpouring of emotion today. And it all got started when he asked him how he felt the day that he found out that his little granddaughter's remains were found in those woods around the corner from his house.

It was so bad, Greta -- I need to tell you this -- that the judge actually reached over and handed him a tissue. And when they took a break because he was so emotional, the deputy walked up and was trying to, like, pat him on the back to calm him down. That's how hard he was crying in court today.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Let me just ask you one quick question. Was Casey crying, sobbing, weeping, tearing up at all?

BRISTOW: Not at all. In fact, there were times in court today -- she had one of those clickie (ph) pens like this in her hand, and you could just see her going like this, sitting at the defense take, like, Let's get on with this, guys. And when George Anthony was up there -- you saw her in that video, no emotion.

VAN SUSTEREN: Holly, thank you.