June 21st, 2011
06:45 PM ET

Prosecutors: Child of fellow Casey Anthony inmate drowned in pool

(CNN) - Prosecutors in the Casey Anthony murder trial said Tuesday they are looking into information regarding a woman who at one point was incarcerated with Anthony, and whose child died in a way similar to how Anthony's defense claims her 2-year-old daughter Caylee died.

The matter was mentioned in a conversation regarding discovery items provided to the defense, after the jurors in Anthony's murder trial were allowed to leave the Orlando courtroom for lunch.

April Whalen's child died in a pool and the child's body was discovered by the child's grandfather, prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick told Orange County Chief Judge Belvin Perry Jr.

Whalen says she never spoke with Anthony, but did not know whether she talked to other inmates, Burdick said. "It's being explored whether there was indirect contact," she said. The information came from a citizen who called the Orange County Sheriff's Office late last week, suggesting the two could have been in contact, Burdick said.

Asked by Perry, Burdick said she does not currently plan to have Whalen testify, but the information could become relevant.

According to the Orlando Sentinel newspaper, Whalen's 15-month-old son, Isaiah Whalen, drowned in a backyard pool on Christmas Day 2007. The boy's grandfather performed CPR and called 911 upon finding him in the pool, Burdick said in court Tuesday.

Casey Anthony, 25, is charged with seven counts in her daughter's death, including first-degree murder. If convicted, she could face the death penalty.

Prosecutors allege Anthony used chloroform to render her daughter unconscious, then used duct tape to cover her nose and mouth, suffocating her. Caylee's remains, prosecutors allege, were then put into Anthony's car trunk and eventually disposed of. The girl's skeletal remains were found in a wooded field on December 11, 2008, nearly six months after her family last reported seeing her.

Defense attorneys say Caylee was not murdered, but that she accidentally drowned in the family pool on June 16, 2008, the day she was last seen. They argue that Anthony and her father, George Anthony, panicked and covered up the death. George Anthony has rejected that scenario in his testimony.

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  1. Lauren

    Hi Anderson: I really enjoy your show and want to comment on the group think mentality I see going on with the casey anthony trial. Your show is not part of the media that I am complaining about, shows that are creating a mob mentality and a feeding frenzy of hate oward this defendant, her family, and now, most especially her attorneys. I have never heard such hate speech from what should be normal people. I hope you will bring up in your coverage of the trial the importance of polite discourse even when it comes to accused and presumed innocent until proven guilty murders

    June 21, 2011 at 8:48 pm |