A middle class home in a normal Orlando, Fla., neighborhood holds a dark past.
Jeff Ashton, prosecutor in the trial of Casey Anthony, spoke to more than 60 students at the Issues Commitee event in the UC auditorium Tuesday evening about his experiences with the trial and the uniqueness of the case.
"It was a six-week trial and it was an immense undertaking," Ashton said.
Ashton characterized Anthony, who was accused of murdering her then-2-year-old daughter in 2008, as a master of lies.
"The hardest thing to do is to consistently maintain a lie over time, because it's hard to remember things you made up ... but not for Casey," Ashton said. "She's amazing that way. She can tell these stories and they always come so true because they're so detailed and ... complex."
In Ashton's opinion, Anthony's behavior was atypical for a truly distraught mother whose daughter had not been seen for 31 days. During the initial 911 call placed – while the victim's grandmother can be heard panicking – the victim's mother remained unemotional.
"The ... voice you hear (on the 911 call) is a very calm, cool and collected Casey Anthony," Ashton said.
On flyers posted to find her missing child, Anthony is depicted with a big smile, and during the 31 days before Caylee – Anthony's daughter – was reported missing, the mother was photographed participating in a "hottest body" competition at a club that she and her boyfriend frequented.
Over the course of a few months, evidence was compiled to refute Anthony's allegations, which claimed a babysitter abducted her daughter. Eventually, Anthony accused her father of sexual molestation during her childhood and the disposal of the body after he found the child drowned in the pool.
Ashton claims Anthony consistently lied to investigators and hid the truth.
"Typically when you catch people in a lie, most people will show the evidence of that," Ashton said. "They'll start to stutter, they'll change their facts and eventually they'll break."
Ashley Koeler, freshman in journalism and electronic media, was drawn by the headlining topic.
"That's why I came, to hear more about it," Koeler said. "I thought it was interesting just how the whole prosecution worked.
"The most interesting part to me was how he laid out the map of how he was going to prosecute her. I didn't really know much about it and then hearing about how much the defense and the jury affected the outcome as well as the prosecution. (It's) really interesting."