Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Anthony trial recesses after judge scolds attorneys on both sides

ORLANDO — Fed up with the constant bickering and legal posturing, the judge in the Casey Anthony murder trial scolded prosecutors and defense attorneys Monday, warning them they may face punishment when the trial concludes. Then, the judge abruptly canceled proceedings for the day to give both sides time to work out their differences.

From the start, Judge Belvin Perry has had to be more than a legal referee. He forced both sides to shake hands a couple of months before the trial even started, and lately he has grown frustrated that the jury has to wait in another room while the two sides haggle over witnesses.

"There has been gamesmanship on both sides," Perry said. "Obviously, there is a friction between attorneys. That's something I guess the Florida Bar will deal with. And at the conclusion of this trial, the court will deal with violations that may have occurred."

Anthony, 25, is accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter in the summer of 2008. The defense says the girl drowned in her grandparents' swimming pool, while the state says she was suffocated with duct tape. If convicted, Anthony could get the death penalty.

In response to the attorneys' infighting on the 23rd day of the trial, Perry told them to expect to work a full day this Saturday, instead of just a half. He also said they must be in their seats at 8:30 each morning.

While Perry's wrath Monday was directed at all attorneys on the case, he is most upset with the noticeable discord between lead defense attorney Jose Baez and prosecutor Jeff Ashton, who has 30 years of experience.

On Monday, the judge highlighted the deep disdain between attorneys when he asked Ashton and Baez to look at the clock in the courtroom and tell him what time it was. Ashton said "9:25" and Baez "9:26."

"That shows the two of you won't agree on anything or ever interpret things the same way," Perry said.

University of Miami law professor Tamara Rice Lave said Perry's challenge is keeping order and not showing too much disapproval.

"In some ways it's a bit of a Wild West show, and the judge is trying to rein it in," Lave said.

Anthony trial recesses after judge scolds attorneys on both sides 06/20/11 [Last modified: Monday, June 20, 2011 10:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. North Korean missile launch may be testing rivals, not technology

    World

    SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea's latest missile test Monday may have less to do with perfecting its weapons technology than with showing U.S. and South Korean forces in the region that it can strike them at will.

    A woman watches a TV screen showing a file footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday,. North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile that landed in Japan's maritime economic zone Monday, officials said, the latest in a string of test launches as the North seeks to build nuclear-tipped ICBMs that can reach the U.S. mainland. [AP Photo/Lee Jin-man]
  2. PolitiFact: Fact-checking Samantha Bee on Florida felonies

    State Roundup

    Comedian Samantha Bee traveled to Florida, where she says "retirees and democracy go to die," to shed light on how the state makes it difficult for felons to regain the right to vote.

    Samantha Bee hosts Full Frontal with Samantha Bee on TBS. Bee portrayed some of Florida’s felonies as not so serious on her show.
  3. For some, Memorial Day comes around more than just once a year

    Military

    ST. PETERSBURG — It is shortly before nine on a Friday morning, and the heat is already approaching unbearable levels at Bay Pines National Cemetery.

    Iles carefully digs up the St. Augustine grass so that it will continue to grow when it is placed back on the gravesite. He tries not to disturb the root base.
  4. State budget uncertainty has school districts 'very concerned'

    K12

    While waiting for Gov. Rick Scott to approve or veto the Legislature's education budget, the people in charge of school district checkbooks are trying hard to find a bottom line.

    It has not been easy.

    The unsettled nature of Florida’s education budget has left school districts with questions about how they will make ends meet next year. [iStockphoto.com]
  5. Ernest Hooper: Removing Confederate symbols doesn't eliminate persistent mindset

    Human Interest

    The debate has begun about removing a Confederate statue from outside the Hillsborough County Courthouse, and its removal is long overdue.

    Robert E. Lee Elementary, 305 E. Columbus Drive in Tampa, originally opened its doors in the early 1910s as the Michigan Avenue Grammar School. [Times file]