Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Casey Anthony jury selection could be coming to Pinellas on Monday

Casey Anthony looks at the prosecutor during a hearing  in October 2009 at the Orange County Courthouse.

Associated Press (2009)

Casey Anthony looks at the prosecutor during a hearing in October 2009 at the Orange County Courthouse.

LARGO — Somewhere in Florida on Monday, lawyers will start picking a jury in the high-profile murder case against Casey Anthony, the Orlando mother accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter.

The trial will take place in Orlando, but to find jurors who have not seen as much news coverage on the case, they will be picked elsewhere in the state.

The presiding judge has refused to say where that will happen.

But in Pinellas County this week, court officials have been preparing the criminal courthouse on 49th Street as if something very big is coming.

The building's largest courtroom has been cleared of other proceedings for early next week. A healthy number of people have been summoned for jury duty on Monday and Tuesday. And media parking spaces outside the courthouse have been cordoned off.

Pinellas-Pasco Chief Judge Thomas McGrady refused to comment on whether jury selection for the Anthony case is coming to Pinellas.

"Any information on where that case is going to go has to come from Orlando," he said.

About the schedule in the large Pinellas courtroom, Pinellas-Pasco courts spokesman Ron Stuart said: "There's nothing I can tell you."

A spokeswoman for the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, which handles security at the courthouse, said she could not provide details on preparations for Monday and Tuesday. She referred a reporter back to the courts.

Pinellas Clerk of the Circuit Court Ken Burke referred a reporter to Chief Orange-Osceola Judge Belvin Perry.

Casey Anthony, 25, is accused of killing her daughter Caylee Marie Anthony in 2008. The case drew international news coverage as police searched for months for the girl's remains, which eventually were found about a quarter-mile from the Anthony home.

Because of the media glare, the Orange-Osceola courts have ruled that jurors will be selected from an undisclosed location outside that Central Florida region. While the case is well known across the state, the media coverage in the Orlando area has been even more intense.

After jurors are selected, they will be transported to Orange County for the trial.

In all court cases, judges want to find jurors who will make their decisions based on evidence they hear in court, not on media coverage. This can be difficult in high-profile cases like this one, in which potential jurors may have read or watched coverage about the case, and decided if a defendant is guilty or innocent.

It's only the extreme cases in which courts go outside of their normal jurisdictions to find jurors. For example, a high-profile double-murder case from Fort Myers was tried in Pinellas in 2009.

But this case would be somewhat different because after jurors are picked, they will be transported to Orange County, where they are expected to be sequestered.

Perry was so intent on keeping the jury selection site a secret that he initially wanted media outlets to sign a confidentiality agreement. Those signing the agreement would have learned the site Sunday, as long as they promised not to report it until later. Media outlets objected, and an appeals court rejected the plan.

The court has said the location of jury selection will be announced Monday.

Information from the Orlando Sentinel was used in this report. Curtis Krueger can be reached at or (727) 893-8232.

Casey Anthony jury selection could be coming to Pinellas on Monday 05/06/11 [Last modified: Friday, May 6, 2011 11:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Police seek suspect in attack on elderly woman in St. Petersburg (w/video)


    ST. PETERSBURG — Police are seeking the public's help in finding a woman they say violently attacked a 69-year-old woman earlier this month.

  2. Photo of the Day for September 19, 2017 - Great Egret with green mating coloration

    Human Interest

    Today's Photo of the Day comes from Barbara Motter of Weeki Wachee, FL.

  3. 20 local museums are offering free admission or deals Saturday for Free Museum Day

    Visual Arts

    For all the community's support of the arts in the bay area, it's nice to be rewarded with free admission once in a while. And that's exactly what many area museums are offering on Saturday.

    The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg is among the museums participating in the Smithsonian's Museum Day Live, offering free admission. (LANCE ROTHSTEIN   |  Special to the Times)
  4. Watch live: President Trump's speech to the U.N. General Assembly


    UNITED NATIONS — U.S. President Donald Trump and French leader Emmanuel Macron are expected to take the spotlight at the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations — but it's the tough global challenges from the nuclear threat in North Korea and the plight of Myanmar's minority Muslims to the …

    President Donald Trump shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron during a meeting at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017, in New York. [Associated Press]
  5. Cubs bring some other ex-Rays to Trop such as Wade Davis, Ben Zobrist


    Joe Maddon's first trip back to the Trop is getting most of the headlines tonight, but there are several other familiar faces among the eight former Rays now wearing Cubs uniforms.