Unfortunately, Anthony did not testify at trial, per his attorney’s advice; however, had he testified the jury would have heard his version of events and may have determined, like Anthony, that Charlotte’s death was an unfortunate accident.
Anthony was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross award when he served in the Vietnam War. When in Vietnam, he would sleep with his gun cocked and underneath his pillow. This did not change when he returned home after serving in the war. Every night he would sleep with his gun cocked, underneath his pillow. Charlotte arrived at Anthony’s apartment at the Holiday Inn, just before 4 a.m. on June 24, 1981. Anthony had been asleep for a couple of hours before Charlotte got there and awoke to the sound of her knocking on his door. He let her in and then lied back down. Charlotte began to take off her top and bra and Anthony fell back to sleep. Anthony re-awoke to the sound of the door shutting and got out of bed and opened the door. Charlotte was outside and she stated that if he was just going to sleep, she may as well go home. Anthony then invited her back into his apartment and said he would go to the vending machine to get a Coke, so he could mix them some drinks. Anthony put his jeans on and as he was leaving the room, he noticed Charlotte was removing her blouse again.
What follows is Anthony’s best guess as to what happened, since he was not in the room when Charlotte was shot. Charlotte was found naked from the waist up. Her jeans, pantyhose and belt were still on when she was shot. The jeans she was wearing were noted as being very tight. It is possible that when Charlotte was trying to remove her jeans, she laid back on the bed, felt something underneath the pillow, pulled it out and accidentally shot herself with the gun, which was cocked and underneath Anthony’s pillow. The gun expert, Gary Rathman, testified that the trigger pull on Anthony’s gun was lighter than normal. It only took 2 – 2 ¼ lbs. to pull the trigger.
When Anthony returned to the room, he found Charlotte lying diagonally on the bed, with her head on his pillow and her left arm hanging off of the bed. On the floor underneath her left hand was his gun. There was blood on and around her head.
Although, Anthony does not believe Charlotte would intentionally take her own life, it is also possible that she committed suicide.