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Murder trial witnesses say they saw no change in Casey Anthony's behavior

Prosecution witnesses in the Casey Anthony murder trial call her a loving mother amid testimony of a romance and party invitation in the month following the alleged killing of her daughter, Caylee.

By Staff writer / May 25, 2011

Tony Lazzaro uses hand gestures to explain his position relative to a car during his testimony at the Casey Anthony trial at the Orange County Courthouse in Orlando, Fla., Wednesday, May 25, 2011. Anthony is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her daughter, Caylee. If convicted she could face the death penalty.

Red Huber/AP

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One month after prosecutors say a Florida mother murdered her two-year-old daughter and left the body in garbage bags in a wooded area, she invited an acquaintance to the toddler’s upcoming birthday party, an Orlando courtroom was told Wednesday.

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The mother, Casey Anthony, continued to suggest for weeks after the alleged murder that her daughter, Caylee, was staying with a nanny or that she had to leave soon to pick the little girl up.

“She said she had to pick up her daughter.… She said that her birthday was the next month and I was invited to her birthday party,” said Jamie Realander in testimony Wednesday, the second day of Ms. Anthony’s expected two-month murder trial in an Orlando courtroom.

IN PICTURES: Photos of the day

Ms. Realander met Anthony while working at a local night club.

“She invited you to her daughter’s birthday party the next month?” asked Assistant State Attorney Frank George.

“Yes,” Ms. Realander replied.

According to Realander the conversation took place on July 15, 2008. That date is significant because prosecutors allege that sometime on June 16 – a month earlier – Anthony used chloroform to subdue the toddler and then affixed duct tape over her mouth and nose before hiding the body. Caylee would have been three years old on August 9, 2008 – her birthday.

If convicted, Anthony faces a death sentence.

Web of lies is alleged

According to prosecutors, Anthony’s repeated references to her daughter from mid-June to mid-July were all part of an intricate web of lies calculated to cover up a premeditated murder.

But the apparent lies are only part of the story. Rather than the one-dimensional monster portrayed by the state attorneys office, the view of Anthony emerging from trial witnesses is far more complex and perhaps ultimately inscrutable.

Every witness has portrayed her as a loving, caring mother. There is no dispute on this point. There has been no testimony – at least so far – that she felt burdened by motherhood, or that the toddler was excessively interfering in her social life.

Her former boyfriend, Tony Lazzaro, testified Wednesday that he had no problem with her being a mother. “You knew she had a daughter,” Defense Lawyer Jose Baez said on cross-examination. “You didn’t have any issues about dating a girl who had a child?”

“No,” Mr. Lazzaro answered.

Growing romance

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