As Florida and the media (internationally, too) prepare for the murder trial of Casey Anthony, here’s a brief recap of important events leading up to the trial.
* July 15, 2008 — 2-year-old Caylee Anthony was reported as missing. It was a month since she had been seen in a confirmed sighting. Casey Anthony, her mom, was arrested the next day, charged with child neglect, making false statements and obstruction of justice.
* July 23, 2008 — Cindy Anthony attempts to refute an investigator’s claim that he smelled decomposition in her daughter’s car with this bizarre statement: “Do me a favor,” the grandmother, Cindy Anthony, said Wednesday. “Put a little piece of pizza or any piece of garbage in your car today and leave it shut up for 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 days in this heat and then come back to me in 19 days and tell me what it smells like.”
* Aug. 17, 2008 — Bounty hunters post bond for Casey Anthony, believing she would help find missing Caylee. A week later, bounty hunter Leonard Padilla wasn’t so sure it was a good idea. “Maybe we got duped a little bit. Maybe we overestimated her,” Padilla said.
* Sept. 29, 2008 — Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, the woman Casey Anthony reportedly named as a suspect in the case of her missing daughter, files a defamation lawsuit. Police cleared Fernandez-Gonzalez previously, but she claimed the notoriety had cost her job and made it impossible to find an apartment.
* Dec. 19, 2008 — Forensics experts confirm that remains found in the woods are those of Caylee Anthony. DNA samples were sent to the FBI lab in Quantico, Va.
* Nov. 20, 2009 — Meter reader Roy Kronk, hailed as a hero for helping to find the remains of Caylee Anthony, is the one who killed her, Anthony’s defense team claims. “There is as much circumstantial evidence implicating Roy Kronk as there is implicating our client — He’s the only one who’s been with the body. He’s the only one who magically discovers it,” claimed Andrea Lyon, part of the defense team.
* March 2010 — Anthony is declared indigent, despite having received $200,000 from ABC for photos. Citizens of Florida will have to pay for both sides of the trial.
* April 2011 — On eight separate motions, Judge Belvin Perry rules scientific evidence can be used in the trial. A child-shaped stain in the trunk of Casey Anthony’s car, a heart-shaped mark on duct tape found on remains, and the fact that dogs “alerted” to the scent of remains on the car and in the Anthony back yard are among findings to be allowed.
* May 7, 2011 — Anthony refuses a visit from her mother, Cindy Anthony.
* May 9, 2011 — Jury selection begins for the trial. The location is being kept secret until the morning proceedings will begin. Judge Perry has predicted news coverage will dwarf that of the O.J. Simpson trial and is trying to keep as much under wraps as possible.
Another factor the Casey Anthony trial shares with that of O.J. Simpson is that most people probably consider her guilty based on news coverage.