Q&A With Jeff Ashton
Congratulations on your new position as Orange-Osceola State Attorney. It’s only been a few days, but how does it feel to be back at work after retiring following the conclusion of the controversial Caylee Anthony murder trial?
[It] Feels great to be back at work, like I have returned home. Much has changed the the 18 months since I left, and returning as the State Attorney presents me with fascinating new challenges. Oh yeah, and my parking space is muuuuuch better!
Why is your story an important one to share?
When a case gets this much attention, the real tragedy can get lost in all of the hype and drama. The story is now and always has been about a little girl and how people who should have loved her above all else found ways to put other priorities above her.
What loopholes (if any) did you find in your initial investigation that may have potentially changed the outcome of the verdict?
Well the greatest issue was establishing the cause of death and that really was an issue that we were powerless to supplement. As I have said many times, the circumstance of her death left no doubt in my mind that she [Caylee] was murdered even though the exact mechanics of her death could not be determined.
What do you think about the recent claim that "foolproof suffocation" was missed in the investigation? Do you think this piece of evidence would have been a game changer?
With the particular jury we had in this case it is hard to say. Obviously this information would not have supplied the absolute medical proof of the cause of her [Caylee] death that some of the jurors seemed to require. Whether this new evidence would have convinced at least some of the jurors to hold out for conviction, we will never know.
Was there any point during the trial where you doubted victory?
I always believed that the jury would convict her [Casey Anthony] of something related to Caylee's death not necessarily First Degree Murder but of some lesser form of homicide.
Can you say with confidence that you’ve moved on from the case?
Yes, I have moved on in the life but Caylee will always be apart of my history and I can only hope that whatever impact I have on the lives of the Caylee's of the future is a positive one.
What are your thoughts on the cast of the Lifetime Original Movie "Prosecuting Casey Anthony", particularly Rob Lowe?
OMG, I usually refer to his casting, and in fact all of the actors chosen to play our team, as serious upgrades on the originals. Rita [his wife] and I very much enjoyed meeting Mr. Lowe, Ms. Mitchell and Mr. Nunez on the day we visited the set.
Have you seen the film? If so, which scene really brought you back to the case?
No, I have not seen the film nor have I read the script...but I am looking forward to experiencing the film for the first time with Linda, Frank and our team.