Jury selection began Monday at the Pinellas County Courthouse in Clearwater, Florida in the Casey Anthony murder trial.
The details of the jury selection and trial were kept secret until Monday morning to prevent further influence over potential jurors in a case that has already been a media frenzy. The trial, set to begin May 17, will be held in Orange County. Jurors are expected to be sequestered during both selection and trial, a period which could be as much as several months.
Anthony is charged with capital murder in the death of her two year old daughter Caylee, along with six other charges. Those additional charges include aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter of a child and misleading law enforcement. If found guilty she could face the death penalty.
The case began in the summer of 2008 when Anthony’s mother Cindy reported Caylee missing to the authorities after Casey had told her that the girl had been missing a month. Cindy mentioned that her daughter’s trunk smelled like a dead body had been in it. Casey Anthony professed that a babysitter had taken Caylee, the same defense she is using at her trial.
Over the following months volunteers scoured the area searching for Caylee as pictures began to surface of Casey Anthony drinking and partying with her daughter gone. Some stories she told police, such as her place of employment, turned out to be proven false. Six months after she disappeared, the decomposed remains of Caylee were found near to her home. Forensic experts say a small heart shaped sticker was placed over her mouth on duct tape, but no cause of death could be determined.
Prosecutors chose to push forward with the case using the evidence they had obtained. Evidence gathered from the car as well as the many false statements given to the police will be used to help back up the prosecutor’s case. Anthony has pled not guilty and insists that a babysitter had taken Caylee.
The trial will be shown in its entirety on truTV. The truTV station will also be broadcasting the jury selection process beginning Monday. In addition, HLN will be offering regular updates throughout the selection and trial. Local stations in Florida will also be covering both jury selection and trial.