Glimpse 2: Jose Baez’s Book
He became a household name representing Casey Anthony, now her former attorney wants to make money off his new-found fame. Jose Baez, her lead attorney in her criminal case, has written a tell-all book that gives the inside scoop on a case that attracted worldwide attention. Anthony, who was acquitted last year of murdering her 2-year-old daughter, had mental health issues that contributed to her habitual lying, Baez said in a new book.
In “Presumed Guilty, Casey Anthony: The Inside Story,” Baez said detectives should have realized Casey Anthony had built a “fantasy world,” and her lies weren’t evidence of guilt but signs of someone with “serious mental health issues.” The 421-page book is scheduled for release July 3. The Associated Press purchased a copy Tuesday. Anthony is serving probation for an unrelated charged at an undisclosed location in Florida. She couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday. Describing how Anthony led detectives on a wild goose chase, even taking them to Universal Studios where she falsely claimed she had a job, Baez writes, detectives “should have stopped and realized, ‘Wait a minute, we’re not dealing with someone who is playing with a full deck.'” Anthony originally told detectives that her daughter, Caylee, was taken by a babysitter in June 2008, and that she didn’t report her missing for more than a month because she was searching for the toddler on her own. During Anthony’s trial last year, Baez argued that the little girl accidentally drowned in the family swimming pool while Anthony and her father, George, were at home. Anthony panicked from the traumatic effects of being sexually abused by her father and George Anthony hid the body, according to the defense argument. George Anthony denied the defense’s allegations that he abused Casey and helped her cover up Caylee’s death. Prosecutors had contended that Anthony suffocated Caylee with duct tape because she wanted to be free to hit the nightclubs and spend time with her boyfriend. Jurors acquitted Anthony of first-degree murder but convicted her of four misdemeanor counts of lying to investigators. Baez repeats the allegations of sexual abuse in greater detail in the book, saying it contributed to Anthony’s mental health issues. Mark Lippman, an attorney for George Anthony, refused to comment on the book Tuesday because he hadn’t read it.
Anthony’s defense contemplated having her testify until the very end of the trial but then decided it wasn’t necessary. “We had everything to lose and very little to gain,” Baez writes.
Baez takes aim at the reporters who covered the case, detectives who investigated it, “groupies” who attached themselves to it and the case’s original judge who Baez says filed a complaint against him with the Florida Bar. The complaint was later dropped. Prosecutor Jeff Ashton undergoes the harshest criticism by Baez, who calls him “a coward” for not showing up at Anthony’s sentencing for the misdemeanors since he was making the talk shows round after the trial. Baez is critical of many of Circuit Judge Belvin Perry’s rulings during the trial but praises the judge for allowing him to pick a fair jury. The three-year case took an emotional toll on Baez, according to his book. He suffered depression after the complaint was filed against him and he found it difficult to find joy in his wife’s pregnancy. Baez also criticizes the way he was portrayed in the media as an inexperienced attorney taking on one of the highest-profile criminal cases in recent memory.
“The public may have been convinced that I was an idiot but I let it all roll off my back,” he writes.
The majority isn’t always right. Jose Baez was portrayed in the media and by Jeff Ashton as an inexperienced lawyer who was in over his head. He proved them wrong in more ways than one.
Presumed Guilty releases on July 3rd, click below to get your copy: