OTR Interviews

Former Casey Anthony attorney Jose Baez: A lot of questions will never be answered

Did ex-attorney for Casey Anthony believe her story?


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," July 5, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS HOST: Boy, remember all those pictures? It was a verdict that clearly stunned the nation, and it happened one year ago today. Casey Anthony in that courtroom -- there's the moment, who can forget that? -- acquitted of murdering her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee.

Anthony has been basically in hiding since she was released from jail last summer. She is now serving probation for check fraud at a secret location in Florida. But while Anthony keeps a low profile, her former defense attorney, Jose Baez, who became well known from this trial, is speaking out. And it is an interview that you will only see here.

Baez spoke with Greta Van Susteren about his new book, "Presumed Guilty," and the murder case that gripped the country.


GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Your job is not to decide guilt or innocence. Your job is to effectively represent a client. But I'm curious, did you -- did you -- I didn't believe her. And I didn't believe the story that she had nothing to do with it. Did you believe her?

JOSE BAEZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR CASEY ANTHONY: Are you referring to early on, or eventually...

VAN SUSTEREN: No, no. I mean, whether -- whether she's -- whether she was, you know, directly responsible for the death of her child. I never believed it, you know, the denials.

BAEZ: Well, you know, when she told me what happened, because of the prior lies, I wasn't so quick to jump on board. So what I made the determination at that point in time is, Look, I'm dealing or right now I have got the client of the boy who cried wolf. And I've got to -- if I'm going to either put her on the stand or go in this direction as -- for her defense, I'm going to have to corroborate it. And I literally made the decision, this is a situation where if I can't corroborate what she's saying, it's useless to me, because it won't stand up against cross- examination.

So you don't get into that -- you know, I still had that defense lawyer hat on, and I've always had it on, so you don't get into that situation where you're believing or not believing. It doesn't matter what I can believe. It only matters what I can prove.

So when she told me what happened on June 16th, I went back all the way to the very beginning. And I said, OK, here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to try to disprove what she's telling me. If I can do that, I'm going to have to have another talk with her and we'll have to get a little bit closer to where we are with the truth.

And what I was noticing is I couldn't disprove it. I couldn't disprove what she was telling me happened on June 16th. And in fact, the things that she was telling me I was actually proving. For example, when I went back and read Cindy's statement that on June 16 she came home and found the ladder of the pool up. And then on the 17th she went to work and told her co-workers about it. Statements I would read like George Anthony saying that Caylee would wake up at 7:00 in the morning and say "Jo Jo swim." And then looking back, we did a timeline of every single day she was in the pool over the summer, and turned out she was in the pool every single day.

Couple that with evidence she loved the pool, and then there was an incident with Tony Lazaro where she almost ran into the pool at his house, it all started to come together. And then the phone records and the computer records just solidified it for us where we said, OK, we have a defense here. And right now it's impossible to rebut. And quite frankly I think the reason it's impossible to rebut is because it's the truth.

CINDY ANTHONY, CASEY ANTHONY'S MOTHER: George took them around and told them -- they asked if we had moved any plants or done any digging in the backyard. He said, yes, as a matter of fact, within a couple weeks prior we had moved a huge hibiscus plant that we had here, and we placed it over there. The reason for that is because -- we haven't moved this back yet -- is because all last year we had this deck box here. Well, Caylee can now climb it. We didn't want her climbing where she could get to the pool, so we said let's put it against the house.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: I've been to the family's home a number of times. And I know your job is not to seek out the truth. Most people don't understand, but your job is to challenge the state's case effectively. And lawyers don't take a position whether clients are guilty or not. But I've actually found her story so implausible for a number of reasons is that, somehow, if something happened in that pool, that was an accident, is that somehow that child got from that pool where the child died, according to that theory, to about five blocks away to that wooded area where the remains were found. Somebody did that. And you couple that with --

BAEZ: Correct.

VAN SUSTEREN: -- the fact that Casey -- that bizarre stuff partying and getting tattoos. So how did the baby get from the pool, if that's how she died, to the five blocks away woods?

BAEZ: You know, there's a lot of questions that will never be answered. I want to know what happened to that duct tape after George used it at the command center. I want to know why he didn't tell law enforcement that for the last 20 years they had buried their pets the same exact way that Caylee was found. I want to know a little bit more about the car. Why did he show up to pick up the car at the tow yard with a gas can? How did he know the car was out of gas? Why did he tell Simon Birch that the car had been there for three years -- I'm sorry -- three days? How did he know that if he thought the car was in Jacksonville? So there's lots of questions that will never be answered. Part of that has to do with the way the case was investigated. Another part of that is because people just aren't talking.

VAN SUSTEREN: Are you -- I mean, in looking back at the case, I know there was a lot of -- a lot that went on about George. Based on what you just said, are you suspicious that George moved that child, that George was much more intimately involved with that child's death?

BAEZ: Well, there are a lot of unanswered questions when it relates to testimony.

VAN SUSTEREN: But are you suspicious?

BAEZ: Well, you know, I think that the questions are clearly suspicious. But, you know, I wasn't there. And I'm not the type of person that judges people or makes conclusions or speculates. So, you know, I rely on the evidence. Not only is it what I do as a lawyer, it's what I believe is the right thing to do. So I don't take those leaps of faith. But all I will say is there are a lot of unanswered questions.

What I ended up doing with the book is I wrote out what exactly were the pieces of evidence that took me in a certain direction, what I thought about it, what I thought about the evidence that exonerated her as well the ones that were incriminating against Casey. So that's the evaluation and the analysis that I took in the case.

VAN SUSTEREN: I'm curious, did she ever give you her theory as to how the child ended up in the woods? I'm assuming she denied having anything to do with moving the child, but what was her theory about how the child gets from the pool, assuming that's how the child died, to the field five blocks away, or the wood?

BAEZ: Her statements to myself and to the psychiatrist was that after -- after she broke down and cried for a while, she was in the fetal position, went into a room, and she said her father told her she would take care of it, and that was the last she saw Caylee.

VAN SUSTEREN: Looking around this area, you can see how dense it is, how much stuff and junk. But it certainly is notable that in addition to being very dense and full of trash, it is in very close proximity to the home of George and Cindy where Casey lived with her daughter Caylee. So she actually saw the drowning at the home, the body dead at the home? Is that what you're saying?

BAEZ: Yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: And that George was the one who moved it to the wooded area?

BAEZ: She said that her father told her he would take care of it. That's exactly what she said. And then approximately an hour later when he went to work he called her and told her, "I took care of everything." And we looked and saw that she had -- that there was an actual phone call at that time. Her phone records reflected it. And it matched exactly what she was telling me.

And what's interesting, too, is she doesn't have access at the time to the phone records. So, you know, we're talking about something that she said, I want to say about several months later, and to remember a phone calls exactly at that time was pretty remarkable and convincing to me.

VAN SUSTEREN: So she actually saw the dead child at the home. Did she discover the child?

BAEZ: Correct. She said George had discovered the child.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is there any reason why they didn't call ambulance and why there was an effort to get rid of the child in the woods?

BAEZ: You know, that's another question that won't ever be answered. In my opening statements what I said was, this was a very common accident that happened to a very uncommon group of people.


BAEZ: But what makes this case different, what makes it unique, what makes the reason we're all standing here today, is because not of the commonality but of the uniqueness of the family that it happened to.


BAEZ: I think if you look at the facts and the circumstances surrounding this case, you looked at all of the evidence, there were a lot of times that we admitted evidence having to do with the family dynamics and the strange behavior within the family, like for example hiding the pregnancy for seven-and-a-half and denying she was pregnant. You know, and then the interactions between Lee and Cindy and all of these different stories within the family pretty much painted a picture of, I guess, a strange or different group of people. I don't know any other way to describe that type of behavior other than, you know, something just not right here.


MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS GUEST HOST: Very interesting conversation with Jose Baez. You're going to see more of that. Greta's interview continues with him tomorrow night.

So what were Casey Anthony's first words to him after that verdict was read? That will be revealed in part two of that very interesting interview. Don't miss ON THE RECORD tomorrow night at 10:00 eastern.