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Fla. mom's trial opens with explosive accusations

May 25, 2011 3:57:00 AM - thestate.com
The murder trial for a Florida mother charged in the death of her 2-year-old daughter began with explosive allegations and two very different theories about how the little girl died.

For the first time, prosecutors said Caylee Anthony died from three pieces of duct tape being placed over her mouth and nose. A defense attorney for the mother, Casey Anthony, claimed the toddler drowned in the family pool and the toddler's grandfather helped cover up the accident. The attorney, Jose Baez, also leveled accusations that Casey Anthony was sexually abused by her father, an allegation he disputed when he took the stand Tuesday as the first witness in the trial.

Wednesday will feature more witnesses for the prosecution.

Casey Anthony, 25, is charged with first-degree murder. If convicted, she could be sentenced to death.

The contrasting explanations about how Caylee died were offered to the jury in part because an autopsy was never able to conclude a cause of death. But prosecutors believe they have enough circumstantial evidence to prove Casey killed her daughter during the summer of 2008.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)