OTR Interviews

Lawyer for Casey's Parents: George Anthony Molestation Allegations 'Purely Fiction' By Defense Attorney

The attorney for Cindy and George Anthony discusses their testimony and the toll their daughter's trial has taken

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," June 30, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Tonight, the wait-- well, it's over. We now know Casey Anthony will not be testifying in her own defense. Here's Casey Anthony earlier today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JUDGE BELVIN PERRY, FLORIDA CIRCUIT COURT: Is it your decision, not to testify, based upon consultation with your counsel?

CASEY ANTHONY, CAYLEE'S MOTHER: Yes, sir.

PERRY: OK. You understand that your decision to testify or not testify is solely your decision and your decision alone?

ANTHONY: Yes, sir.

PERRY: And it is your decision not to testify?

ANTHONY: Yes, sir.

PERRY: OK. Have you had ample time to discuss this matter with your attorneys -- that is, the pros and cons of testifying or not testifying?

ANTHONY: Yes, sir.

PERRY: And has anyone used any force or pressure in making you arrive at that decision?

ANTHONY: No, sir.

PERRY: OK. And that decision is your decision, freely and voluntarily?

ANTHONY: Yes, sir.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: Now, how does that impact her defense? Without Casey testifying for herself, there is not one witness to back up the defense theory that Caylee accidentally drowned in the family pool. The best case he can hope is that the prosecution didn't convince the jury it was murder.

Now, one thing is clear, Casey is getting closer to finding out her fate. Her defense team rested a few hours ago, but not before calling Krystal Holloway, also known as River Cruz, to the witness stand. Holloway claims she had an affair with George Anthony and that George told her Caylee's death was an accident.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSE BAEZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR ANTHONY: Do you know George Anthony?

KRYSTAL HOLLOWAY, ALLEGES AFFAIR WITH GEORGE ANTHONY: Yes.

BAEZ: How do you know him?

HOLLOWAY: I met him at a tent when his granddaughter was missing.

BAEZ: When?

HOLLOWAY: I believe it was July, August maybe.

BAEZ: August of what year?

HOLLOWAY: Of '08.

BAEZ: 2008?

HOLLOWAY: Correct.

BAEZ: OK. And how often did you go to the tent?

HOLLOWAY: Every day.

BAEZ: OK. Did you get to know Mr. Anthony a little better?

HOLLOWAY: Yes.

BAEZ: Did you develop a relationship with Mr. Anthony?

HOLLOWAY: Yes, sir, I did.

BAEZ: And was this an intimate relationship?

HOLLOWAY: Yes.

BAEZ: And did Mr. Anthony go to your home or your apartment?

HOLLOWAY: It was my home, and yes, he did.

BAEZ: About how many times did he go to your house?

HOLLOWAY: Maybe 12.

BAEZ: Ms. Holloway, did there ever come an occasion where you had a heart-to-heart conversation with George Anthony as to what happened to his granddaughter?

HOLLOWAY: Yes.

BAEZ: OK. Tell the ladies and gentlemen of the jury what you were doing and how that all transpired.

HOLLOWAY: The particular night that you're referring to?

BAEZ: Yes.

HOLLOWAY: He was sitting on my couch and I was sitting on the floor. And he had told me -- he had said it was an accident that snowballed out of control. But I was in shock. And by the time I looked up, his eyes were filled with tears, and I didn't elaborate. I didn't ask him anything further.

BAEZ: Did -- was this before Caylee was found?

HOLLOWAY: Yes, sir. It was around Thanksgiving time, I believe.

BAEZ: And did you -- were you prompting him? Were you asking him?

HOLLOWAY: No, sir.

BAEZ: OK. So the topic just came up and...

HOLLOWAY: Well, not exactly. We were talking about his daughter. I didn't think that he could raise somebody that was capable of harming her child. And that's when he said it was an accident that snowballed out of control. But I was caught off guard with it. And by the time I looked up, he had tears in his eyes, and I didn't say anything after that.

JEFF ASHTON, PROSECUTOR: You were talking to him about his daughter and how you couldn't believe that he could raise a daughter that would deliberately kill her child.

HOLLOWAY: That's correct.

ASHTON: And what he said to you is, I really believe it was an accident that just went wrong, isn't that true?

BAEZ: Objection. That misstates her statement.

ASHTON: It does not.

BAEZ: It does.

PERRY: Well, gentlemen, approach the sidebar and bring me the statement.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's her statement, referred by counsel, page 16, line 25 through page 17, line 9.

HOLLOWAY (READING): "He said, I really believe that it was an accident and it just went wrong, and then she tried to cover it up." "Did he tell you what he thought happened to the child?"

"He said that it was an accident that went wrong and it snowballed -- I'm sorry -- and it just snowballed. And he said, you know, how you tell a small lie and you just try to cover it up, and it just got really -- it got really big and just -- it just went out of control. He just said that I really believe that it was an accident and it just went wrong, and she tried to cover it up. Casey, no verbal response. Did he say to you that Casey had told him that this was an accident or this was something that you had just believed? He didn't say. He didn't say that. He said like he knew it was a -- inaudible -- I don't -- I don't remember him saying, like, Casey said it. He just said it was an accident that went wrong.

ASHTON: George made it clear to you that he did not have any firsthand knowledge of what happened to his granddaughter. That was the context of what he said, wasn't it.

BAEZ: That misstates the statement. The statement reads for itself - - speaks for itself.

PERRY: Overruled.

HOLLOWAY: Correct.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: Now, George Anthony denies the two were intimate and denies confiding in her about Caylee's death.

Joining us George, Cindy and Lee Anthony's attorney, Mark Lippman. Good evening, Mark. And Mark, tell me, is it your client's view that she - - the witness who was just on the witness stand that we just played the tape of -- that she's mistaken, or is she lying about this conversation?

MARK LIPPMAN, GEORGE AND CINDY ANTHONY'S ATTORNEY (Via Telephone): Oh, she's lying completely, Ms. Van Susteren. The conversation never took place. My client never had any sort of intimate relation with her. And this woman has made many misrepresentations to both George and Cindy multiple times. And it's my belief that she has some severe mental issues.

VAN SUSTEREN: I can't imagine anything more difficult than what the parents of Casey have gone through. I mean, you've got -- they've lost a grandchild. Their daughter is facing the possibility of the death penalty. The daughter has claimed now that the father has molested her, which he denies. And now today, we have a woman taking the stand, saying that she was intimate, cheating on Cindy, essentially. So I guess the question is how your clients are doing tonight.

LIPPMAN: Well, let me correct one thing. The attorney claimed that there was some sort of sexual molestation. Ms. Anthony has not taken the stand. So that was purely fiction done by the attorney. As to my clients, they're doing fine. They're getting through this and they're looking forward to the end of the trial.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, that's a pretty serious allegation to level at Jose Baez because he has -- either he has a good faith basis for asking these questions or it's not ethical. So presumably, he got that information from his client or it's not ethical.

LIPPMAN: I -- the -- wherever he got it from, there was no presentation of it other than the inference that maybe his client would testify. That never happened. But at this point, to me, it's just -- it's an unethical thing that he never should have said.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do -- did your clients -- were they surprised by the decision of Casey not to testify today?

LIPPMAN: No. I mean, we kind of figured it would go either way. Certainly, my clients -- and they've said I could talk about this. They were happy that they chose -- that Casey chose not to testify today and that it was a good defense decision because who knows what would have happened if she did.

VAN SUSTEREN: One of the interesting parts of today's testimony was some testimony about how the family pets were disposed of when they died. And I couldn't help but notice now, when one of your clients, George Anthony, was on the witness stand that he said things that were not helpful to the defense. And I was curious. Did Jose Baez ever prepare him for his testimony, in a sense -- I guess "prepare" sounds like a terrible word, but that's the word we lawyers use. Did he sit down and talk to him before he put him on the witness stand so that he'd know what he would say?

LIPPMAN: No. He never, ever talked to George Anthony since the trial began. We haven't had a conversation between Jose, George and I. We did talk between Jose, Cindy and I. And there was just some conformation about different things there, but there was no preparation by the defense of any of the witnesses.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you have any explanation for that? Because that seems rather dangerous for a lawyer to put someone on the witness stand who he or she has not spoken to.

LIPPMAN: Do I know why Jose does what he does? Absolutely no, no thought process on Jose's part, in my opinion. As far as the testimony that was presented today, I know what he was trying to achieve in saying that George was the one who coordinated and then completed the burial ceremony that the family had. But as you heard the testimony, it was a family affair. They all took part in it. And the inference is that that's where Casey then must have learned this is what you do with a loved one.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you have any worry tonight or concern as a lawyer for Cindy? There was discussion outside the hearing of the jury about her -- about -- and when she testified -- when Cindy testified, she said that she was the one who had done the research on the computer and that she was home from work today. And apparently, the prosecution had secured some employment records to show that that wasn't true. But that testimony never got in.

Nonetheless, there's the possibility that the prosecution may go after her for not being truthful on the witness stand. Do you have any fear that's going to happen?

LIPPMAN: Well, I'm always the worst-case scenario type of attorney. I'm always hopeful that the state wouldn't do something like that. I don't think so. My client remains very strong in her position that she did do those searches. It was the state that said 3/17/08. My client just confirmed that. She didn't actually remember the specific date. But regardless of that, there are other records out there that would confirm that my client wasn't necessarily at work all day on 3/17/08, and the state does have that in their possession.

VAN SUSTEREN: Mark, I can't even imagine the pain that your clients are going through. But I'm curious, you know, I know they haven't spoken, but has there been eye contact, even some sort of acknowledgement of your clients and Casey in the courtroom? Have they made any sort of contact?

LIPPMAN: Nothing other -- I can't disclose anything else that would get anybody in trouble. But any of the contacts, it's been on video where my client, Cindy, mouthed, "I love you" to her daughter. And I believe that's about the only thing that any of the video has ever shown.

VAN SUSTEREN: So when was the last time she actually -- that your clients ever spoke to Casey?

LIPPMAN: Oh, it was in 2008.

VAN SUSTEREN: Have there been letters, anything at all?

LIPPMAN: No. Since everything was released to the media immediately upon either any visitation or any letters, my clients, through discussions with Casey's attorney, Jose Baez, thought it would be best not to communicate directly through to her and were communicating through Jose to Casey.

VAN SUSTEREN: Mark, thank you.

LIPPMAN: Thanks very much, Ms. Van Susteren.