LARGO — In the morning, the judge in the Casey Anthony murder trial expressed concern that jury selection was taking too long. And then, right after lunch, the same judge announced that proceedings were done for the day. He plans to resume at 8:30 this morning.
No explanation was given in court for taking the afternoon off, but defense attorney Jose Baez later texted the Orlando Sentinel and said it was because of a "private matter."
Orange-Osceola Judge Belvin Perry has said he wants the trial to begin with opening arguments on Monday in Orlando.
The judge and attorneys have been in jury selection for nine days. They have 11 people they consider viable jurors, although attorneys on either side could have some removed.
Anthony is accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, in Orlando in summer, 2008. The girl's remains were found that December after a massive search.
The selection process has taken longer than expected. Perry originally wanted the trial to begin earlier this week and said he might even be obligated to pay for rooms in an Orlando hotel, because he thought the jury would be there by now.
Jury selection was brought to Pinellas because the Casey Anthony case has gotten such intense media coverage in the Orlando area. Assuming a Pinellas jury is finally picked, the jurors will stay in Orlando for the trial, which is expected to last six to eight weeks.