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Hair expert testifies in toddler slaying

Associated Press / June 14, 2011

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ORLANDO, Fla. — A hair and fiber investigator for the FBI took the stand yesterday as the murder trial of 25-year-old Casey Anthony entered its fourth week.

Anthony is accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter nearly three years ago.

Stephen Shaw told jurors he analyzed hair found in Anthony’s trunk and samples taken from Caylee Anthony’s skull, which was found in a wooded area near the Anthony home.

Shaw testified that he saw more evidence of decomposition on the hairs taken from the child’s skull than on the hair found in the trunk.

Testimony ended early and is scheduled to resume this afternoon.

Judge Belvin Perry said the state has notified him that it could finish presenting its case as early as tomorrow. Depending on the length of the defense’s case, he thinks the jury could begin deliberating about June 25.

Meanwhile, Perry ruled that prosecutors could not use an electronic presentation of the hair analysis as evidence, saying that he found it troubling the contents of the study were not shared with defense attorneys ahead of time. Jurors waited outside the courtroom for about 20 minutes while the issue was settled.

Prosecutors contend Casey Anthony suffocated Caylee with duct tape. The defense has argued the toddler drowned in her grandparents’ swimming pool on June 16, 2008.

The child was not reported missing for 31 days. Her remains were found in a wooded area near the Anthony home in December 2008. Anthony has pleaded not guilty and faces the death penalty if convicted.

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