A judge ruled on Thursday that 911 calls made by Cindy Anthony to report Caylee Anthony missing can be used in court in the murder case against Casey Anthony.
Casey Anthony's defense team wanted the three 911 calls made by their client's mother dismissed, claiming they were inadmissible at trial.
Prosecutors argued that Cindy Anthony displayed raw emotion in the 911 calls, and so her comments should be allowed at trial under an exception to the hearsay rule called "excited utterance."
Judge Belvin Perry found that the first two calls, which he described as frantic efforts of a grandmother to find the location of her grandchild, using the ploy to get police involved to extract a statement from her daughter, could be used. He said the calls are not being offered to prove truth of matter of asserted.
The state said the calls are being used to show the effect the calls made on Casey Anthony and to place Casey Anthony's comments in context.
The state said the first two calls are important because of Cindy Anthony's efforts to get law enforcement involved and how Casey Anthony reacted.
The defense wanted the calls dismissed on the grounds that they are hearsay, but the argument did not carry because hearsay can be presented to a jury if it is ruled "excited utterance."
"I found out my granddaughter has been taken. She has been missing for a month," Cindy Anthony told a 911 dispatcher in one of the calls.
In addition, prosecutors said the 911 calls are admissible because they show the moment Casey Anthony first mentioned her daughter's alleged kidnapper.
"Who has her? Do you have a name?" the dispatcher asked Casey Anthony when she was put on the phone.
"Her name is Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez. ... She has been my nanny for about a year and a half, almost two years," Casey Anthony replied.
Perry said he will instruct the jury not to take the 911 calls as evidence of truth, but rather evidence of what Casey Anthony heard her mother say, which prompted her to tell the dispatcher that Caylee was with a nanny.
Perry said the third 911 call made by Cindy Anthony fits the definition of an "excited utterance."
"There's something wrong. I found my daughter's car today and it smells like there's been a dead body in the damn car," Cindy Anthony told a 911 dispatcher in the third call.
When Baez asked why she made that statement, Cindy Anthony replied, "I don't know."
On the two-year anniversary of her 911 calls that began the investigation into Caylee's disappearance, Cindy Anthony testified Thursday about her state of mind when she discovered her granddaughter was missing.
Before the hearing, Cindy Anthony's attorney said his client will tell the truth about her state of mind when she made the calls on July 15, 2008. The calls launched a months-long search for 2-year-old Caylee, which ended in December 2008 when her remains were found in a wooded area near the Anthony family's east Orange County home.
Cindy Antony testified for more than an hour before her son, and Casey Anthony's brother, Lee Anthony, took the stand to testify.
George Anthony was also present for the hearing.
Until now, Cindy Anthony had not testified in two years, when things got tense between her and prosecutor Linda Drane-Burdick.
Before the hearing, Anthony family attorney Brad Conway said Cindy Anthony will acknowledge she was frantic when the call was made, even though that admission could hurt her daughter in her trial for first-degree murder in Caylee's death.
Conway said Cindy Anthony does not have a problem with the calls being used in the trial. He said, "it is what it is," and he believes the judge will allow the calls to be admitted into evidence.
Casey Anthony is jailed on murder charges in the death of Caylee, whose remains were found in December 2008. Caylee was 2 years old when she was reported missing in July 2008, about a month after she was last seen alive.
Casey Anthony has pleaded not guilty.
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