The Casey Anthony case may turn into the Trial of the Century.Â Since grandmother Cindy Anthony picked up the phone and called 911 on July 15, 2008,Â because her granddaughter was missing and her daughter’s vehicle’s trunk smelled like “death,” the nation has followed the story.Â And when Orange County law enforcement grew tired of Casey Anthony’s strange behavior and misleading information and arrested her for the murder of her 2-year-old daughter in October 2008, the nation only grew more interested.Â And when the remains of Caylee Anthony were found in a wooded area in December 2008 just houses from her grandparents home outside Orlando, the nation could not turn its attention away.Â
There hasn’t been a trial that has captured the imagination of so many since the O. J. SimpsonÂ Trial.Â Before that it was theÂ Tate – La Bianca (Charles Manson)Â murder trial.Â And before that, it was the Bruno HauptmanÂ Lindbergh baby kidnapping trial.Â They were all “Trials of the Century.”Â The Casey Anthony trial looks to be one of equal magnitude.Â
It has been nearly 18 months since Casey Anthony’s arrest.Â The defense has pushed the first degree murder trial back until at least May 2011.Â And in the meantime, Casey Anthony has run out of money to pay for her defense.Â Her lawyers stipulated that defense costs had amassed to over $250,000.Â Jose Baez, Casey’s personal attorney, had been paid $89,000 since taking her case in 2008.Â Many of the attorneys working on her case, however, had and were still working pro bono.
What all thatÂ means isÂ that the Florida and American taxpayer (think of all those tourists in the Orlando area paying sales and gas taxes)Â will foot the bill for at least part of the defense.Â Judge Stan Strickland ruled that Casey Anthony was now indigent, despite nearly $300,000 taken in for her defense, and that the state of Florida would now shoulder the financial burden of defense costs.Â Attorneys fees would not, however, be covered.Â
By the time Casey Anthony’s trial begins, if it begins in May of 2011 as scheduledÂ and if donationsÂ and other means of financial assistance are not found for or offered the defense, their costs could, judging from the amount already expended, reach somewhere in the neighborhood of $175,000.Â
And then there will be the death penalty phase if she is convicted…
So the national audience that has beenÂ so enraptured and galvanized by the story of Caylee Anthony’s death and the subsequent incarceration and legal maneuverings of the CaseyÂ Anthony defense teamÂ will apparently have to hope that theÂ forthcoming Trial of the CenturyÂ lives up to its hype.Â Because they are paying for it.Â AndÂ one always hopes to get whatÂ one pays for…