Florida Police Tortured Casey Anthony, Lawyer Says in New Book
(NEW YORK) — Casey Anthony’s jailers took her in shackles to a room where she was to be surprised by news coverage when police discovered her daughter’s decomposed body, a tactic that her lawyer claims in a new book was “torture.”
Attorney Jose Baez writes that police hoped to get a revealing reaction, possibly a confession, out of Anthony by shocking her with the news story and refused to let her lawyer see Anthony while this was going on.
“They sent someone to Casey’s cell,” Baez writes in his upcoming book. “They shackled her legs and hands in chains, marched her to the medical unit, sat her down where there were several correctional officers and a couple of nurses standing around watching her, and forced her to watch the breaking news that police had found Caylee’s remains so they could record her reaction.”
The grainy video shows Anthony sitting in a waiting room. There is no audio, but after she appears to hear something — reportedly the televised news that a child’s body was found in a swampy area near the Anthony home — she puts her hands and forearms across her stomach, and begins to slowly rock backwards and forwards. Her breathing seems to quicken and her chest can be seen rising and falling.
The remains were not identified as Caylee’s until more than a week later. In September 2011, a Florida judge unsealed for public view the tape that had previously been sealed in order for Anthony to get a fair trial.
On July 5, 2011, Anthony was acquitted of charges of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and aggravated manslaughter for the death of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee Anthony. She was convicted of lying to law enforcement.
The circumstances surrounding the tape, which a Florida judge called “highly inflammatory,” are detailed in Baez’s book, Presumed Guilty, Casey Anthony: The Inside Story, set to be released on July 3.
“As soon as the police got to the site where Caylee’s remains lay, Commander Matt Irwin, the head of missing person’s unit, came up with the bright idea of calling the jail and asking if there was a room where they could take Casey and videotape her reaction to their finding Caylee’s remains,” Baez wrote.
Irwin was told Anthony could be taken to the medical unit where there was a TV and a camera that could record her reaction, according to Baez who claims police were hoping that Anthony would “say something, maybe flip out and confess.”
Baez said he had rushed to the jail to see his client in hopes of breaking the news to her. But when he arrived, authorities would not let him through the gate. He was told that Anthony was being taken to the medical unit and he would have to wait to see her.
Anthony was inside being shown news coverage of the discovery of Caylee’s remains.
“Meanwhile, oblivious to what they were doing, I was outside trying to get in while they were torturing her,” he wrote. “Clearly this was a violation of her right to counsel and what two of the correctional officers would later testify to be cruel and unusual punishment.”
“To this day it was one of the cruelest and most disgusting things I have ever seen the cops do,” Baez wrote.
Authorities later said that they had taken Anthony to the medical unit out of concern for her health and well-being. Nearly an hour after he arrived at the courthouse, Baez said he was taken to Anthony.
Anthony has been in hiding since she was acquitted last summer. She is on probation in Florida for a check fraud conviction, but the court ordered her location to be kept secret because of death threats she has received. Her probation ends on Aug. 21, 2012.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio