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Residents in Casey Anthony's Orange County neighborhood want the gawkers kept out

ORLANDO — The east Orange County neighborhood where Casey Anthony lived with her parents and Caylee Marie will be under tight security once the jury reaches a verdict in her murder trial.

Deputies from the Orange County Sheriff's Office will limit traffic in and out of the Chickasaw Oaks subdivision, they said in a report released Monday. Residents will be allowed to enter and exit, but most others will not be allowed in the neighborhood.

The precautionary steps stem from concerns voiced by residents who want to avoid a repeat of the days when outsiders camped outside the Anthony home, terrorized Casey Anthony's parents and drove through the neighborhood for a glimpse of Casey Anthony's home.

"As we all know, the traffic flow and pedestrian safety was affected by the amount of 'gawkers' and public vehicle cruising that occurred early on in this investigation," a report from the Orange County Sheriff's Office shows.

The recent outbursts outside the Orange County Courthouse also could be playing into the Sheriff's Office decision to limit access to the neighborhood.

Scores of locals and tourists milled around the Orange County courthouse and erupted in impromptu debates with one another about the case that has captivated a nation for nearly three years.

Guilty. Innocent. No proof. Pathological liar.

These words are volleyed back and forth between spectators who are more than willing to offer their opinions to local and national media. Cars traveling south on Orange Avenue slow down as they near the courthouse to peer curiously at the media village where celebrity journalists and bloggers have spontaneously stationed themselves.

A minivan spray-painted white with the words "Not guilty" circled the area waiting for an opportunity to talk about the state attorneys to anyone who would listen.

At one point, it parked in front of the courthouse and people inside yelled an angry tirade in defense of Casey Anthony. Deputies promptly asked the driver to leave because it was illegally parked.

Deltona resident Grace Gowing sheepishly confessed to coming downtown just to be a part of the spectacle.

"I'm a little embarrassed to be here. What can you do? You know?" Gowing said as she apologized sarcastically. "We made the premise of going to Lake Eola, which we'll still do — once we're done here."

The Sheriff's Office will allow media trucks to park in a cordoned-off section along Suburban Drive, east of the Anthonys' home on Hopespring Drive.

Residents in Casey Anthony's Orange County neighborhood want the gawkers kept out 07/04/11 [Last modified: Monday, July 4, 2011 7:32pm]
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