ORLANDO, Fla. - Jurors in the trial of a Florida mother charged with killing her 2-year-old daughter will be picked from outside Orlando, a judge ruled Monday after defense attorneys argued residents there were tainted by negative media reports.
Chief Judge Belvin Perry ruled that the 12 potential jurors and six potential alternates in Casey Anthony's trial will be chosen from somewhere in Florida outside Orlando, brought back to central Florida and then sequestered during the trial. The judge said he will tell attorneys when he decides where to hold the trial, but that information will be kept secret until just before the trial begins.
Anthony has pleaded not guilty to murdering her daughter, Caylee, and said a baby sitter kidnapped the toddler. Her trial is set to start in May 2011. Jose Baez, Anthony's lead attorney, told the judge that South Florida residents had the least media exposure to the case and argued that the jurors shouldn't be picked from Jacksonville, Tampa or Pensacola.
The Jacksonville area recently has had two missing girl investigations that resemble Anthony's case, while Tampa's proximity to Orlando had exposed residents there to the case, Baez said. He faulted Pensacola for not having the same demographic makeup as Orlando. The judge also denied a request from defense attorneys to dismiss the indictment against Anthony.