ORLANDO, Fla. – An acquaintance of a central Florida mother charged with killing her 2-year-old daughter testified Thursday that he never introduced Casey Anthony to a babysitter whom she claims kidnapped her toddler.
Jeff Hopkins was called as the first witness on the eighth day of testimony in Casey Anthony's murder trial. His testimony was part of a succession of witnesses who are recounting to jurors the lies Anthony told her friends and law enforcement officers about what happened to her daughter and where she worked.
Anthony had told investigators her daughter, Caylee, was kidnapped by a babysitter whom she met through Hopkins. But the witnesses have testified that no such babysitter existed.
Anthony is charged with first-degree murder. If convicted, she could be sentenced to death. Her attorney says Caylee died in an accidental drowning in the family's swimming pool. The prosecution says the child was suffocated after duct tape was placed over her mouth.
Caylee was last seen by her grandparents in mid-June 2008. Anthony waited a month before telling her family the toddler was missing. Her mother then called authorities.
Anthony has said she was conducting her own efforts to find her missing daughter, but prosecutors contend she was going to nightclubs, shopping and hanging out with friends during that month.
Prosecutors have said they are nearing the halfway point of their case and could be down to about 20 witnesses by the end of the week.