CLEARWATER (CBSMiami.com) – A woman was hauled off to jail Friday morning after she burst out with the comment, “She killed somebody, anyway”, as she sat in a gallery for jury selection in the Casey Anthony trial. After a brief hearing, the judge convicted her of contempt of court.
Judge Belvin Perry was questioning a prospective juror when the woman burst out with her comment. She was quickly subdued by bailiffs, and the jury selection was recessed while the woman, who was not identified, faced a brief contempt hearing.
Clearly angry, Judge Perry told the woman she had endangered the selection of the potential juror, who defense attorney asked be excused for cause. Sobbing, and barely able to stand at times, the woman repeated apologized and said she had been in mental health medication since she was 14.
She told the judge she had been in court on a domestic matter, and came into the courtroom where jury selection was underway in the Casey Anthony murder trial, “because I ain’t never been here and I just wanted to see what it looked like.”
“I shouldn’t have said anything,” the woman sobbed. “I’m sorry. So sorry. Please don’t punish me, I’m really sorry.”
In addition to a host of prescription the woman said she was taking, she told Judge Perry she visited a methadone clinic every day. She said her sole source of income is Social Security payments for her mental illness.
Judge Perry told the woman that if she were not disabled, he would have sentenced her to 179 days in the Pinellas County Jail on the contempt charge, but he decided she would face only 2 days in custody, and after holding a hearing to qualify her for help from the Public Defender’s office, he ordered her taken from court.
The potential juror was excused.
Jury selection has concluded and opening statements will begin on Tuesday at 9 a.m. in Orlando.