Defamation suits against Casey Anthony in limbo because of bankruptcy

May 9, 2013 at 12:35 PM
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ORLANDO, Fla., May 9 (UPI) -- A bankruptcy judge will hear arguments at the end of the month on defamation suits against Casey Anthony, the Florida mom found innocent of killing her child.

The suits, brought by Zenaida Gonzalez and Roy Kronk, were halted by Anthony's January Chapter 7 filing. Anthony's lawyers want a judge in federal court to rule on the suits while attorneys for Gonzalez and Kronk want jury trials in state circuit court, the Orlando Sentinel reported Wednesday.

Attorneys for Gonzalez and Kronk were in court Wednesday to ask U.S. Bankruptcy Judge K. Rodney May to extend the deadline for them to object to the bankruptcy until the suits are concluded at the state level.

May said he hasn't decided on whether the suits should be heard in state court and scheduled a hearing for May 30.

Gonzalez sued Anthony for saying a similarly named nanny had kidnapped Caylee. Even though the nanny didn't exist, Gonzalez claimed she was linked to the case in the media and her life was thrown into chaos.

Kronk, the meter-reader who found 2-year-old Caylee's body in woods, said Anthony's attorneys implicated him in the child's death.

Anthony, in hiding since she was released from jail, did not attend Wednesday's hearing, the Sentinel said. She was charged with murder in the 2008 death of her daughter but convicted only of four misdemeanors for lying to law enforcement, two of which were reversed on appeal.

Anthony's lawyers argue the lawsuits are frivolous and are preventing her from getting "the 'fresh start' that she has legally sought" through bankruptcy.

In the bankruptcy filing, Anthony listed more than $790,000 in debt and less than $1,100 in assets. Her largest creditor is her defense attorney Jose Baez, to whom she owes $500,000.

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