Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg man in Casey Anthony case: 'I just wanted to get out of jury duty'

LARGO — Many people have probably thought about it, but Jonathan Green was the only person summoned for the Casey Anthony murder trial who flat-out said it:

"I just wanted to get out of jury duty," Green, a potential juror from St. Petersburg, said Wednesday.

Green was thrown out of the jury pool and fined $450 for contempt of court after he admitted to talking to someone about the murder trial, even though a judge had warned him and others not to.

So went another day of questioning and controversy during jury selection for the unusual murder trial that will require 20 Pinellas County residents to live in Orlando for six to eight weeks to hear the highly publicized case.

Anthony, 25, is accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, in Orlando in 2008. A massive search finally yielded the child's remains months later.

The case generated so much news that Orange-Osceola Judge Belvin Perry decided to get jurors from Pinellas County, where media coverage has been less intense, and where people may not have formed opinions about Anthony's guilt or innocence.

But this creates a challenge. Not only do the judge and lawyers have to find fair and impartial jurors — always a complex task in a death penalty murder case — they also need to find people who can afford to leave their homes, families and jobs for as long as two months.

The situation prompted Perry to suggest Wednesday that maybe he should seek jurors at the nearby homeless shelter, Pinellas Hope, a comment that raised eyebrows and prompted Internet chatter.

As for Green, the 35-year-old Publix employee approached a journalist to discuss the case during lunch break. The matter was reported to authorities, and Green was hauled before the judge. That's when he admitted doing so to get out of jury duty.

"I'm leaving, I'm leaving," he said as he walked out of the Pinellas Criminal Courts complex followed by reporters.

Other potential jurors gave reasons that the judge and the lawyers found legitimate. Some had medical problems. One was pregnant. Several owned or managed businesses that could not survive their absence. Some said they are living on unemployment benefits, which require them to look for work, which might be hard during a two-month murder trial.

But more than 60 have said they could do it, even though the duty will require them to live away from home and receive just $30 per day. Judge Perry said he could offer them a nice hotel, good food, transportation, television (but no news) and even occasional side trips.

For her part, Anthony wiped away tears periodically during the day. She briefly left the courtroom in the late afternoon, walking gingerly and looking as though she was in pain. But after a few minutes, she returned and sat next to her defense attorneys.

The jury selection is expected to possibly conclude Saturday. Lawyers still need to ask potential jurors about their views on the death penalty and whether they can be fair and impartial.

Times researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report.

St. Petersburg man in Casey Anthony case: 'I just wanted to get out of jury duty' 05/11/11 [Last modified: Thursday, May 12, 2011 10:01am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rowdies shut out at Pittsburgh

    Soccer

    PITTSBURGH — The Rowdies lost their first USL game in nearly a month, 1-0 to Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

  2. Trump reveals that he didn't record Comey after all

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump declared Thursday he never made and doesn't have recordings of his private conversations with ousted former FBI director James Comey, ending a monthlong guessing game that he started with a cryptic tweet and that ensnared his administration in yet more controversy.

    President Donald Trump said Thursday that he didn’t record his conversations with James Comey.
  3. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick tonight in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Investigation Discovery TV show profiles 2011 Landy Martinez murder case

    Crime

    The murder of a St. Petersburg man will be featured this week on a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery.

    Jose Adame sits in a Pinellas County courtroom during his 2016 trial and conviction for first-degree murder. Adame was convicted of first-degree murder last year for torturing and then executing his boyfriend as he pleaded for his life in 2011. Now it will be featured in a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery. The episode will air on June 26 at 9 p.m. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  5. Uhuru mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel protests exclusion from debate

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG — Jesse Nevel, the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement candidate for mayor, on Thursday demanded that he be allowed to participate in a July 25 televised debate between incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and challenger Rick Baker.

    Mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel holds a news conference outside the headquarters of the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday to protest his exclusion from the mayoral debate. Nevel is a member of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement.