January 23, 2012
Of the 300-plus cases Veteran Florida prosecutor Ashton has tried during his career, 70 were homicides and all but two ended with a guilty verdict. Now, following his most famousâand lastâhearing, Ashton recounts the Casey Anthony murder trialâwherein she was accused of killing her daughter, Cayleeâ, a case characterized by circuitous twists and turns, and reviews the series of Anthonyâs purported lies, including those regarding the mysterious Nanny, where Anthony worked, and the sexual abuse suffered at the hands of her father. Ashton discusses the Anthony familyâs strange dynamics, the uneven relationship between Anthony and her parents, and her âtransformationâ and âperformancesâ during the trial. While the book is meticulously detailed, it occasionally suffers from Ashtonâs (or perhaps from former New York Times correspondent Pulitzerâs) overwrought language, as evidenced by lines like, âCaylee was officially discharged to the care of angels.â Ashton reveals that he âgenuinely dislikeâ defense attorney Jose Baez, a âsmarmyâ¦underhandedâ man, and canât resist the urge to share anecdotes that make Baez appear foolishâhe even describes the defenseâs arguments as âborderline ridiculous.â Understandably, Ashton was convinced that the jury would find Anthony guilty and he would be able to retire âon a high note,â but the shocking verdict proved otherwise. For readers who havenât reached their fill on information about this highly publicized trial, this is a must read. Photos.