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Casey Anthony won't say much in deposition Saturday

Casey Anthony is set to be deposed Saturday in the civil case involving Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, but don't expect to hear her say much.

Anthony is expected to plead the Fifth — her constitutional right against self-incrimination — to many of the tough questions attorney John Morgan plans to ask during the special video-link question-and-answer session.

"We anticipate her to take the Fifth Amendment," said Matt Morgan, who is also working the defamation case brought against Anthony by Fernandez-Gonzalez. "But It's imperative that we ask those questions."

When Caylee was first reported missing in mid-July 2008, Anthony told authorities that a nanny named Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez had taken the child. This prompted massive searches and attempts to track down the nanny, who never materialized.

The defamation suit against Casey Anthony was filed by Fernandez-Gonzalez after she was sought out during the investigation into Caylee's disappearance.

Matt Morgan said he doesn't expect the deposition to last long but said attorneys will have to run through the questions they consider essential to their case. Anthony's remote location during the deposition will not be revealed.

The questioning — and Casey Anthony's expected refusal to provide answers — will form the basis for the Morgans to ask Circuit Judge Lisa Munyon to determine whether her Fifth Amendment claims are legitimate.

A favorable ruling for the Morgans could then eventually lead to a deposition in which Anthony would be compelled to answer questions openly and honestly.

Though Matt Morgan would not reveal at this point the kinds of questions that will be asked, he said, "We're going to be asking her the tough questions. They are the questions the public would want answered."

Anthony, 25, was acquitted in July of the major charges against in her, including first-degree murder, in connection with her 2-year-old daughter Caylee Marie's death. She was convicted of four counts of lying to law enforcement.

Matt Morgan said Casey Anthony's ongoing appeal in her convictions for lying to law enforcement is expected to be the reason for her refusal to testify Saturday.

The Morgans also had wanted to stream footage of Casey Anthony's deposition, but that won't happen in the short term as it did when Casey Anthony's parents, George and Cindy, were deposed in the civil matter back in 2009.

Those depositions ended with the parents angry upon leaving the Orlando offices of the Morgan & Morgan law firm. Transcripts and video released soon afterward by Morgan showed a tension-filled series of inquiries and answers.

"I'm giving Mr. Morgan what he wants. He wants a … TV show," Cindy Anthony said during her three-hour interview.

George Anthony said during his two-hour deposition: "When you say you sympathize and all that kind of stuff, you don't give — anything about me … You don't care. I hope you never have to go through what I've had to go through."

Videos of those depositions and others related to the civil case appear on the firm's website.

Matt Morgan said he expects Casey Anthony's defense to try to have Saturday's deposition sealed, but that will be challenged by the Morgans as well. They will argue that whatever Anthony says during the deposition is a public record that should be available for public review.

Morgan said he wants to disseminate the deposition to the public as soon as possible. Though Anthony might not say much during this initial deposition, Morgan said it will be "eventful to see her reaction" to the questions Saturday.

Casey Anthony has not been spotted publicly since she was released from the Orange County Jail in July.

During her criminal defense team's opening statement, attorney José Baez said Anthony was aware that her daughter had drowned in June 2008. But Anthony never testified at trial, so her account of the events leading to her daughter's death remains a mystery.

Presumably, Morgan's questioning would cover this ground and more. But it appears Anthony's answers won't be coming this weekend.

"There is a chance she could get in there and answer all of our questions," Matt Morgan explained, but that's not what he expects.

Anthony's civil attorney, Charles Greene, confirmed that his client will be asserting her Fifth Amendment right.

acolarossi@tribune.com or 407-420-5447

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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