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Casey Anthony Judge Picks Expert Witnesses for Defense

Caylee and Casey Anthony (CBS)
ORLANDO, Fla. (CBS/WKMG/AP) The trial of Casey Anthony, who is charged with murdering her daughter, will be a "battle of the experts" because of circumstantial evidence in the case, a judge said Thursday, as he picked which specialists defense attorneys could hire with public funds.

The 24-year-old mother has been declared indigent, allowing public money to pay for expert witnesses and costs in addition to attorney fees.

During Thursday's hearing, Chief Judge Belvin Perry denied requests to spend public money on four expert witnesses and forensic tests requested by Anthony's defense attorneys. The judge nixed a trace evidence expert, a cell phone expert, a jury consultant and money for a car to replicate evidence found in Anthony's car.

Perry approved spending public money on 10 other experts including a bug expert, a forensic anthropologist, a forensic botanist and famed forensics expert Henry Lee, who has worked on the Phil Spector and JonBenet Ramsey cases. Those experts can give opinions on body decomposition based on plant growth and insects found around a body.

The judge denied a request from Anthony's attorneys to seal all records related to the public funding of her defense. The defense attorneys had argued their release would jeopardize her right to a fair trial by revealing defense strategy.

Rachel Fugate, an attorney for The Orlando Sentinel, told a judge that the request was too broad.

Anthony has pleaded not guilty to murdering her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, and said a baby sitter kidnapped the toddler. Her trial is set to start in May 2011.

Caylee disappeared in June 2008 but she wasn't reported missing until almost a month later. Her remains were found in December 2008 in woods not far from the home she lived with her mother and grandparents.

Story Contributed to CBS Affilite WKMG

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  • Edecio Martinez

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