June 27th, 2011
07:30 PM ET

Casey Anthony declared competent; trial proceeds

(CNN) - Casey Anthony, accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee in 2008, was determined competent to proceed with her capital murder trial after she was examined by three psychologists over the weekend, the judge said Monday.

The psychologists' reports will be sealed, said Orange County Chief Judge Belvin Perry Jr. outside the presence of the jury.

"Based on privileged communications between Casey Marie Anthony and her counsel, counsel reasonably believes that Ms. Anthony is not competent to aid and assist in her own defense and is incompetent to proceed," said the motion, filed by defense attorneys Saturday under seal and made public Monday. "As a result of this well-founded concern, counsel requests a full competency determination before the continuation of trial proceedings."

It was implied - but not expressly stated - that the motion was the reason for the abrupt recess Perry called on Saturday morning.

Anthony, 25, is charged with seven counts, including first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and misleading police, in her daughter's death. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against her.

Anthony's defense team is trying to discredit the prosecution theory that the Orlando woman rendered Caylee unconscious with chloroform, duct-taped her mouth and nose, and stored the body in her car trunk for a few days before dumping it in the woods.

The defense says Caylee accidentally drowned in the family pool and that Anthony and her father, George, panicked and covered it up. George Anthony has denied that theory.

Anthony's defense attorneys also filed a motion Monday asking Perry to reconsider an earlier decision and declare Florida's death penalty law unconstitutional.

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  1. Annie

    I wonder if the garbage was placed in the trunk as a coy once they started smelling decompositon ? How many people leave garbage in the trunk of their car? Where did the garbage originate? It was ALL empty pkgs... Was it her party food? The little girls picture trying to open the patio door looked a little bigger than the other pictures of Caylee...... The defense is trying. I think Casey wanted her freedom. Oh Maybe the secret from her brother was more than we think........ Casey comes from a disfunctional family? so do many other kids/ especially from split families. If they all go disposing of what may be in their way our population will be in big trouble....

    June 27, 2011 at 9:26 pm |