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Casey Anthony Could Face Death Penalty in Caylee Anthony Murder Trial, Judge Rules

(AP Photo/ Red Huber)
(AP/Orange County Sheriffs Office)
(AP Photo/ Red Huber)
ORLANDO, Fla. (CBS/AP) Casey Anthony's defense team was dealt another blow Friday, when a judge ruled that the prosecution could ask the jury to consider the death penalty in the murder case against the young mother for the death of her daughter Caylee Anthony.

Casey Anthony reacts during a court hearing Friday, December 11, 2009.

Casey Anthony faces first-degree murder charges. She has pleaded not guilty. Caylee Anthony was 2 when she was reported missing in July 2008. Her remains were found in a wooded area in east Orlando five months later.

In a motion to take the death penalty off the table, Casey Anthony's attorneys had argued that prosecutors were seeking the death penalty in bad faith and that the death penalty procedure was unconstitutional.

Photo: Caylee Marie Anthony, 2.

Defense attorney Jose Baez stated that several of the 'aggravating factors' outlined in the law that must be proven for the death penalty, such as "heinous, atrocious or cruel," were so vague and arbitrary that they should not be allowed.

Orange County Circuit Judge Stan Strickland also set a trial date for one of two civil cases against Casey Anthony filed by Zenaida Gonzalez, according to CBS Affiliate WKMG.

Photo: Casey Anthony's parents, George and Cindy Anthony, listen during a court hearing on Friday, December 11, 2009.

Gonzalez claims her reputation was ruined when Casey Anthony told investigators she left her missing daughter with a nanny with the same name, and is suing her for more than $15,000 in damages. The judge ruled that unless a settlement is reached soon trial is set for June 7.

Casey Anthony is already facing a Jan. 25 court date for allegedly stealing checks from her former best friend, Amy Huizenga.

Judge Strickland previously denied a defense motion requesting that the videotaping of jailhouse visits between Casey Anthony and her attorneys be stopped. The motion argued that the recordings violate the private nature of the attorney-client relationship.

Orange County Jail officials had countered that the sound is turned off.

Judge Stan Strickland said in an order released Thursday that any recordings of jailhouse meetings between Casey Anthony and her attorneys must be reviewed by him before they can be released to the public to ensure that Anthony's right to a fair trial isn't compromised.

MORE ON CRIMESIDER
December 11, 2009 - Casey Anthony Lawyers Seek to Block Death Penalty
November 20, 2009 - Casey Anthony Defense: Meter Reader Roy Kronk Killed Caylee Anthony
November 9, 2009 - Book 'Em: Mommy's Little Girl -- Casey Anthony and her Daughter Caylee's Tragic Fate
October 21, 2009 - Police Interrogations: Questioning Casey Anthony
October 19, 2009 - 911: Where's Caylee Anthony?
September 30, 2009 - Duct Tape in Caylee Anthony Murder Case Contaminated by FBI
September 25, 2009 - Heart-Wrenching Caylee Anthony Evidence Destroyed, FBI Docs Show
August 24, 2009 - Casey Anthony's Defense Revealed
July 8, 2009 - Casey Anthony Trial Delayed Until 2010
  • Carlin Miller

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