TAMPA — Citing concerns of a "media circus" and vigilantes still looking to "gain justice" for the death of 2-year-old Caylee Anthony, attorneys for her mother, Casey Anthony, successfully argued Tuesday to keep her bankruptcy case in a federal courtroom in Tampa.
Two of her creditors wanted the case relocated to Orlando.
"The debtor is once again playing the role of the victim," Attorney R. Scott Shuker said, "and not playing by the rules."
Anthony, 26, was acquitted of a first-degree murder charge less than two years ago in an Orlando case so widely followed that Time magazine called it the "social media trial of the century."
Anthony's St. Petersburg-based, pro-bono bankruptcy attorney David L. Schrader said that while his client's last-known address is officially her parents' Orlando house, she has not been there for the past five years. Since her trial, he said, she has had no permanent home, moving from secret location to secret location throughout the state, running from cameras and death threats.
In pending civil cases, he said, other judges have made accommodations to limit her time in the outside world — keeping her depositions short, for example, in case word gets out.
He said other lawyers have gotten threats, and there is an anonymous $50,000 bounty out for her address.
"She has no intent to return to Orlando," Schrader said. "That's the last thing she wants to do is put herself into harm's way and into the media circus."
In documents filed in federal court, Anthony says she has only $1,084 in assets, including her old bedroom furniture at her parents' house and a bicycle. She says she has $792,119 in liabilities, including $500,000 owed to her criminal defense attorney Jose Baez.
U.S. Bankruptcy judge K. Rodney May said he saw no need to move the case to Orlando when the Tampa division belongs to the same federal court district.
There is a hearing scheduled Monday afternoon in Tampa. Anthony is expected to attend.
Alexandra Zayas can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3354.