Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Jury finally sworn in for Casey Anthony trial

Casey Anthony stares after a spectator interrupts during jury selection in her trial on Friday in Clearwater.

Associated Press

Casey Anthony stares after a spectator interrupts during jury selection in her trial on Friday in Clearwater.

LARGO — After a jury selection process that took two weeks, a panel of Pinellas County residents was finally sworn in Friday to hear the high-profile murder case against Casey Anthony.

Orange-Osceola Circuit Judge Belvin Perry swore in the 12 jurors and five alternates just after 5 p.m. Friday. The panel has nine women and eight men.

At 9 a.m. Tuesday, they are to report to an Orlando courthouse to hear the opening statements. Under Perry's instructions, the jurors will be sequestered in a hotel during the trial, with limited visits from family and no Internet access.

Anthony, 25, is accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee Marie, in Orlando in 2008. The child's remains were found in woods near Anthony's home. Anthony has pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder.

The judge came to Pinellas to select jurors because of the massive media attention surrounding the case in the Orlando area. More than 600 media outlets have received credentials for the trial, and about a dozen covered the selection process, several using Twitter to provide live coverage.

The selection process began May 9, and more than 200 jurors were interviewed. There were repeated delays. On Friday, a woman who was sitting in the courtroom audience blurted out "she killed somebody, anyway" while the judge was questioning a potential juror. That jury candidate was then dismissed.

The woman, Elizabeth Rogers, 29, of Belleair Bluffs, was in the courthouse for a friend's case in another courtroom. She made the statement after wandering into the Anthony courtroom and sitting down.

Perry found Rogers in contempt of court and sentenced her to two days in jail. The judge said he could have sentenced her to up to 179 days in jail but was lenient because Rogers said she is bipolar.

Perry had hoped to get 12 jurors and eight alternates, and at one point Friday, the pool consisted of 20 jurors. But prosecutors utilized peremptory challenges to eliminate three and set the final list of five alternates.

Perry and lawyers for the prosecution and for the defense had quizzed potential jurors about their exposure to pretrial publicity and their feelings about the death penalty, which Anthony could get if found guilty.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Jury finally sworn in for Casey Anthony trial 05/20/11 [Last modified: Saturday, May 21, 2011 12:06am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. St. Petersburg's newest hotel opens with craft beers, cocktails and Cozy Corners

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — Last spring, Ryan Tarrant applied for a job with the new Hyatt Place nearing completion in downtown St. Petersburg. Among the questions an interviewer asked:

    What does this hotel need to succeed?

    Ryan Tarrant, director of sales for the Hyatt Place hotel  opening Tuesday at 25 2nd St. N in St. Petersburg, poses in the gallery,  as Hyatt Place lobbies are called. 
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. NFL Week 3: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions


    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) pumps his fist to the crowd after Tampa Bay's 29-7 victory over Chicago on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. The Bucs play at Minnesota at 1 p.m. Sunday. WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times

  3. Hernando budget for 2017-18 includes slight increase in tax rate

    Local Government

    BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County Commission has given tentative approval to a $452.9 million budget, funded partially by a property tax rate that is slightly higher than last year.

    Wayne Dukes’ 
plan to trim the general fund rate was approved.
  4. A coast away from her roots, American Stage's Stephanie Gularte is soaking up Florida



    The last clear day before the storm, Stephanie Gularte looked at Milo, her 8-year-old Boston terrier.

    "You ready for action, bud?"

    Stephanie Gularte, who arrived in the Tampa Bay area 2 ? years ago to become producing artistic director of American Stage, strolls along Coffee Pot Bayou in St. Petersburg with Milo, her 
8-year-old Boston terrier.
  5. Bar review: Coffee Grounds serves java and cocktails in Treasure Island

    Bars & Spirits

    I won't bore you with a tedious recap of Hurricane Irma's aftermath, but by the fourth night without electricity I had to get out of the house. I headed out to the beach to cool off at a bar that I has noticed while passing by not long ago.

    Maren Kritz pours a Chocolate Coffee Martini at Coffee Grounds Coffee and Cocktails bar in Treasure Island. They use local Kahwa.