Lawyers: Judge killed chances of fair defamation trial for Anthony

May 14, 2013 at 7:43 AM
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ORLANDO, Fla., May 14 (UPI) -- Casey Anthony's lawyers said comments made by the judge who presided over her homicide trial hurt her chances to have a fair defamation trial in Orlando, Fla.

Judge Belvin Perry appeared earlier this month on NBC's "Today" show to express his personal views on Anthony's 2011 trial, in which she faced charges for her daughter's death, the Orlando Sentinel reported Monday.

Anthony's lawyers said Perry revealed confidential information about the case on the television program.

"Judge Perry's public announcement that he believes Ms. Anthony was guilty and that 'God' would be the one to ultimately administrate justice, further tainted the prospective juror pool and ensured that Ms. Anthony could not receive a fair trial in Orange County, Florida," her attorneys said in a document filed Friday in bankruptcy court.

Anthony faces other civil battles related to her 2011 murder trial, including a defamation suit filed by a Kissimmee, Fla., woman, Zenaida Gonzalez.

When questioned by police about her daughter's disappearance, Anthony said she had left her in the care of a woman with the same name as Gonzalez. Investigators determined no such woman existed, but Gonzalez said the use of her name forever linked her to the crime, and filed a defamation suit.

"Perry is the 'boss' of other Ninth Circuit judges and is responsible for judicial assignments. It is not unreasonable to fear that any Ninth Circuit judge who might preside over a defamation claim would, even if only subconsciously, try to mete the punishment that Judge Perry clearly stated he believes Ms. Anthony deserves," the attorneys wrote.

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