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. Romano: Sinkholes take Florida's quirks to a whole 'nother level

    Public Safety

    So all of this — the beaches, palm trees and fresh grouper sandwiches — comes with a few extenuating costs. To live in Florida is to accept a lifestyle of hazards, both peculiar and deadly. Lightning strikes and hurricanes, for example. Alligators and sharks, too. Floods, drug traffickers, spring break and …

    Two days after a sinkhole opened in front of her Spring Hill home in 2014, Linda Fisher packs up to leave for good.
  2. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 18: Despite feeling ill, this pilgrim passes the midpoint in her 500-mile journey on foot

    Travel

    Day 18: Lédigos to El Burgo Ranero: 34.3 km, 12.25 hours (Total for Days 1-18 = 428 km (266 miles)

    Today was a struggle.

  3. Former Rays/current Cubs manager Joe Maddon featured on NBC Sunday news show

    Blogs

    Former Rays and current Cubs manager Joe Maddon will be featured on this week's "Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly" show at 7 p.m. on NBC, the Harry Smith interview covering not just Maddon's on-field accomplishments but his extensive efforts to help his hometown of Hazleton, Pa.

    "Here's what's so …

    Joe Maddon talking with NBC News' Harry Smith.
  4. For starters: Souza returns to lineup

    Blogs

     

  5. Actor John Heard dies at age 72

    Blogs

    John Heard, who played so many roles in the '80s but was probably best known as the dad in the Home Alone movies, has died, according to media reports. He was 72.