ORLANDO (CBS4) – Jury selection is underway in Pinellas County for the trial of Casey Anthony, the Orlando mother accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee.

Because her case has drawn so much attention in Orange County, and across much of the state, the judge decided to select jurors from a different county in hopes they would be more objective.

“I’m not naïve enough to think we’ll encounter no one who has heard of this case,” said LeRoy Pernell, dean of the Florida A&M University College of Law in Orlando. “But the goal is to find people who have not been oversaturated with media.”

Those selected will have to put their lives on hold for almost two months. They will be transported to Orlando and sequestered at a hotel. The estimated cost is $300,000.

Anthony, 25, could face the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder. She also is charged with aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter of a child and providing false information to law enforcement. She has pleaded not guilty and maintains a baby-sitter kidnapped Caylee.

Anthony waited a month before telling her mother that Caylee had disappeared in the summer of 2008. Anthony’s mother then contacted authorities. Over the next several weeks, hundreds of volunteers scoured central Florida in search of any clues to Caylee’s whereabouts. The Anthony case became a media sensation, as HLN talk show host Nancy Grace gave her the moniker “Tot Mom.” Protesters suspecting Anthony had a role in her daughter’s disappearance demonstrated outside of the home Anthony shared with her parents.

Caylee’s decomposed remains were found December 2008 by a municipal meter reader in woods not far from where the little girl lived with her mother and grandparents. Detectives said residue of a heart-shaped sticker was found on duct tape over the mouth of her skull. The local medical examiner, Jan Garavaglia, ruled that a cause of death could not be determined. The autopsy said that Caylee’s bones didn’t suffer trauma.

Prosecutors will have to make strong links for the jury between the circumstantial evidence and Anthony, if they are to succeed, said LeRoy Pernell, dean of the Florida A&M University College of Law in Orlando.

“Failure to show exactly what is the cause of death is a challenge, but it’s not necessarily a fatal challenge,” Pernell said.

In their arsenal, prosecutors have physical evidence and Anthony’s own misleading statements to detectives. They also plan to use evidence from the car Anthony was driving in the days before Caylee disappeared. Forensic testing found in the car’s trunk traces of chloroform, which is used to induce unconsciousness and also a component of human decomposition. In a 911 call, Cindy Anthony described the vehicle as smelling “like there’s been a dead body in the damn car.”

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (16)
  1. michellefrommadison says:

    Hopefully the potential jurors will all have a verifiable higher-education and they would certainly not convict Casey on the murder one charge because the prosecution’s case appears to crumble each day. And, hopefully when the prosecution fails to get a first-degree-murder conviction against Casey, they post the names and families information of each of the prosecution’s team members to the public so that Justice can then finally be achieved in this case.

    1. bonnie says:

      I totally agree!! Lived in Florida for 4 yrs and just moved out of the state. Too much coruption there. You just have to turn on the T.V. in the morning to see how many people were beaten ,shot and man handled by law inforsement and they justify shooting to kill by saying I thought they had a gun. Or dumping a crippled man out of his wheelchair saying he posed a threat or using a stun gun on a woman while she was already down and pleading for them to stop and they kept on going. the list is long. grant you they do catch the bad guys but there seems to be to many times when the wrong kind of force is used. where I live those thing do not happen. the whole Anthony saga scares me with the law enforcement thing who do you really believe. They all seems to cover for one another. Many cases are opening up where people have been imprisoned for yrs in Florida only to find out yrs later that person was innocent coverups.shaking head. Seem to be to many.

  2. GBinOKC says:

    Michelle from Madison:
    If the victim died during the commission of a felony act of abuse/neglect, the Murder-in-the-First standard can still apply.

    1. michellefrommadison says:

      Exactly GBinOKC, there is zero evidence of murder in this case.

  3. GBinOKC says:

    Furthermore, I’m assuming that you consider yourself to be among the better educated group. And your solution is to endanger the lives of the children of the prosecutors? Curious method of retribution, wouldn’t you say?

    1. michellefrommadison says:

      Why would you endanger the lives of the prosecution and their families GBinOKC? I certainly would oppose that strategy. Instead, just rely upon the facts of the case.

  4. cindy says:

    She did it. If it was deliberate murder or not I do not know. Maybe she was drugged up or drunk and something happened, I don’t know. I do know she is guilty. I became a mother when I was 18 and I cannot even imagine doing all the things she did when her baby was missing.

    1. michellefrommadison says:

      No direct evidence against Casey that she did anything except for being a great and loving mother to Caylee. Try using the facts instead of your uninformed and misguided emotions Cindy. 🙂

  5. estrella gonzalo says:

    I think Casey is as guilty as sin. I also believe that Cindy had a lot to do with Caylee’s death. I believe all her controlling and pushing drove Casey to do the unthinkable. Casey of course being the party girl she is, needed to be free of any burden which is what Caylee was to her.

    1. michellefrommadison says:

      No direct evidence against Casey that she did anything except for being a great and loving mother to Caylee. Try using the facts instead of your uninformed and misguided emotions estrella gonzalo. 🙂

  6. jenny says:

    I completly agree with Michelle i don’t believe even if she did or she didn’t that anyone deserves the death penalty… who ate they to take someones life.. besides there is no concrete evidence that she did it.. and only God now’s if she did.. and if she did do it let her serve her time consciousness wont let her sleep and she will eventually have to face the real big Guy up in heaven… no human being should make a determination on who to kill she just made a terrible mistake…

    1. michellefrommadison says:

      That’s right Jenny, and don’t forget the continuous line of people released from jails and prisons throughout this country who were incarcerated after being found guilty in a court of Law only to find they were not guilty of the crime at all.

  7. Susi says:

    Michellefrommadison is Jason from wherever, and a troll. Jenny, you are nuts.

    1. michellefrommadison says:

      Don’t forget, I have also been assigned over a dozen other names and many states and locations as well by the uninformed and the uneducated like Susi. But, they truly are my patients. I wish them all well and a speedy recovery to their delusional difficulties. be sure to goggle “michellefrommadison” too as the hits actually helps many of the treatment-sites necessary for recovery for people like Susi. Thank you.

  8. Mag from MN says:

    Michelle from Madison: are you nuts?

    1. michellefrommadison says:

      Yes, Mag from MN, I agree that you may be “nuts” but I don’t believe Casey will go into the “nut” business after she is released.

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