NBCNEWS.COM - A retired prosecutor from the Casey Anthony murder trial calls her lead attorney "smarmy" in a new book and says he didn't think a jury would ever agree to the death penalty for the Florida mother, who was ultimately acquitted of killing her 2-year-old daughter.
Jeff Ashton writes in Tuesday's "Imperfect Justice: Prosecuting Casey Anthony" that he would have been happier if the prosecution team had left the death penalty off the table. He also confirmed that toward the end of the trial, Anthony's attorneys tried to persuade the 25-year-old to accept a plea deal but she refused to listen.
"Personally, I think I would have been happier if the death penalty had not been reintroduced into the case, even though I think on some level I think Casey may have deserved it," Ashton said in the 324-page book. "Simply put, I just didn't think the jury would go there."
As it turns out, Anthony refusal to accept a deal paid off. Jurors in July acquitted her in the killing of her daughter, Caylee, and she was released from prison, though she is in hiding somewhere in Florida, serving probation for an unrelated check fraud case.