June 15th, 2011
07:39 PM ET

Casey Anthony defense wants convicted kidnapper on witness list

(CNN) - Casey Anthony's defense attorneys are seeking to question a convicted felon who served prison time for kidnapping, claiming in court documents he is linked to Anthony's father through cell phone records.

Vasco Thompson, 52, is on an amended witness list filed Tuesday in Anthony's capital murder trial. Orange County Chief Judge Belvin Perry Jr. has not yet ruled on whether Thompson can be deposed or testify in the trial.

Casey Anthony's father, George Anthony, denied knowing Thompson or ever speaking to him in a statement released by his attorney.

Prosecutors allege that Casey Anthony, 25, killed her 2-year-old daughter Caylee in 2008 by using chloroform on her and putting duct tape over her nose and mouth. They allege she then put the little girl's body in black garbage bags and stored it in her trunk before dumping it in woods near her home.

Caylee's skeletal remains were found December 11, 2008. She was last seen June 16, 2008, but her disappearance was not reported until July 15, 2008, after Anthony's mother, Cindy Anthony, demanded answers from her daughter about Caylee's whereabouts.

Anthony faces seven counts in Caylee's death, including first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and misleading investigators. If convicted, she could face the death penalty. She has pleaded not guilty.

"Mr. Thompson is a recently discovered witness through the ongoing efforts of defense investigators," according to the court documents filed Tuesday. "This witness was connected to George Anthony through his cell phone records."

A background check revealed that Thompson "has a violent criminal history and has served a 10-year prison sentence for kidnapping," according to the court documents.

"Because of the recently discovered and unexplained relationship between George Anthony and Vasco Thompson, their finite contact which, based on cell records, existed only during the relevant time period, and Mr. Thompson's violent criminal history, good cause is shown for the late disclosure of this witness," the defense says in the filing.

Those contacts, they allege, included four contacts on July 14, 2008 - the day before Caylee was reported missing by Cindy Anthony.

The defense said it needs to question Thompson "to determine the existence of relevant admissible evidence in this trial."

Thompson refused to speak with defense investigators and called police when he was questioned, the documents said.

"Mr. Anthony does not know Vasco Dagama Thompson," the Anthonys' attorney, Mark Lippman, said in a statement. "Mr. Anthony does not recall ever speaking with Mr. Vasco Dagama Thompson at any time including July 14, 2008, by any form of communication."

Lippman pointed out the defense has failed to identify who initiated the calls or the length of time of each telephone call.

"This simply appears to be another attempt by the defense to attack my client," Lippman said. "Mr. Anthony has and will continue to maintain the position that he had nothing to do with the death of Caylee Marie Anthony or any of the events that occurred afterward regarding the actions of the defendant Casey Anthony established by the state of Florida in the presentation of their case."

According to records attached to the amended witness list, Thompson was sentenced in 1998 to 40 years in prison for kidnapping. He was required to serve eight years in prison and 30 years on probation. The Florida Department of Corrections website shows he was in and out of custody but was released in 2004.

It was unclear how Thompson might fit into the defense's strategy in the Anthony case.

Prosecutors rested their case earlier Wednesday, and Perry rejected a defense request for a judgment of acquittal, saying the jury must decide what to make of the evidence.

Casey Anthony's defense attorneys will begin presenting their case Thursday. The trial, held in Orlando, is in its fourth week.

The defense has said Caylee was not killed, but rather drowned in the family pool on June 16.

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soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Sunny

    The defense has had in their possession Mr. Anthony's phone records for 3 years...plenty of time to interview any potentional witnesses. In addition, the defense has already been sanctioned at lest once for late discovery...don't see them getting away with this nonsense again. Besides, why would George be in contact with a convicted felon (kidnapping) if the baby drowned in the pool, as alleged by the defense? Do you need the services of a convicted felon to put duct tape on a drowned child's face, shove her in two trashbags and a laundry bag, then toss in her the woods like common trash 1/2 mile from your own home? This "theory" is even more ridiculous than the drowning/sexual abuse theory.

    June 15, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
  2. Donna - Sarasota

    They keep saying Casey had no motive. Isn't not wanting your child in the first place a motive. Isn't the fact that she was going to let someone adopt the child a motive? Cayley was cramping Casey's style, and she wanted to be rid of her to enjoy the "Beautiful Life".

    June 15, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
  3. jack robinson

    I have noticed numerous images of caylee with bruised & black eyes. Has anyone said how she recieved them?

    June 15, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
  4. Nancy Averitt-Campbell

    I feel Cassy did it . What kind of mother would sleep in the same room with a boy friend or in the same bed, not a true mom. She has been caught in her own lies and now she figues if she goes down she is taken her family too. She must be a child of rage inside and hides it well. I bet if there was a study of her brain pattern to Bundy .

    June 15, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
  5. Jay

    Someone suggested that his phone number was similiar to George's work number and the calls were misdials.
    The defense has blamed everyone but the abduction of aliens in Casey's defense. I really feel for George and Cindy. They both have been treated so badly. Too bad they cannot sue for slander. Jose will go down as the worst defense attorney ever. I think he is starting to look like a joke to the jury. I think all the time he has spent with Casey, he is starting to pick up on her lies, if not coaching her to lie, especially if she takes the stand. I think Jose is loving all the attention, however I cannot imagine anyone ever wanting to hire him to represent them or a family member.

    June 15, 2011 at 9:57 pm |