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Jury selection in Casey Anthony murder trial grinds along slowly in Pinellas

LARGO — Jury selection for Casey Anthony's murder trial crept along at a glacially slow pace on Thursday, so the judge warned lawyers they are going to have to speed things up today.

By the end of a full day of questioning, the judge and the attorneys had interviewed only five jurors in the highly publicized Orlando case, which is starting in Pinellas County in an effort to find an unbiased jury.

All but one of the five had previously been interviewed by the judge and lawyers and were considered capable of handling a six- to eight-week trial in Orlando away from their jobs, families and homes.

But interviewing the first juror on Thursday lasted past the lunch hour. Interviewing the second took another hour.

That's when Orange-Osceola Circuit Judge Belvin Perry told lawyers that he intends to limit their questioning when jury selection resumes this morning.

"You'll be on the clock," Perry told them. He said the prosecution and the defense can each ask 30 minutes' worth of questions of each potential juror today, unless a juror brings up a "curveball" that requires more time.

Perry has said it's possible that jury selection could continue through Saturday or even Monday. Officials hope the trial can begin in Orlando on Tuesday.

One of the jurors interviewed Thursday said he had felt that Anthony probably was guilty of having killed her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee Marie Anthony, in 2008, but he also said he thinks he could set those thoughts aside and be fair as a juror. Defense attorneys asked Perry to strike him from the jury pool, but Perry declined to do so at the time.

Neither side raised any objections to three other jurors, including a St. Petersburg Times employee, who were interviewed extensively. One other juror was excused from service because he would not have been paid for his time away from work.

Also Thursday, Rosalie Bolin, an anti-death-penalty activist who is married to convicted murderer and death row inmate Oscar Ray Bolin Jr., was assisting Anthony's defense team.

Defense attorney Jose Baez declined to discuss Bolin's role, and Bolin told a reporter simply that "it should be obvious what I'm doing here."

Jury selection in Casey Anthony murder trial grinds along slowly in Pinellas 05/12/11 [Last modified: Friday, May 13, 2011 12:34am]

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