Seldom-used Law may Force Casey Anthony to Trial

By Drew Petrimoulx
Posted July 9, 2009

A judge has postponed Casey Anthony's capital murder trial until next year. But the prosecution is pushing for a jury to hear her fraud case now - something the defense has argued against.

Orlando attorney Mark NeJame, who once represented George and Cindy Anthony, says the two sides are battling for position.
"The prosecutor is surely going to want to try the easiest case first so they get a conviction on the record," he said. "That way, when they're prosecuting the defendant, they're now prosecuting a convicted felon."

NeJame says the state is also looking to bring out any information that could be useful during the murder trial.

Casey's defense, according to NeJame, wants the opposite - prevent a fraud conviction and suppress evidence and testimony that could hurt them later on.

Publicly, the defense has argued that holding the fraud trial first would impede Casey's ability to get a fair shake on the more serious charges.

But, the state and the victim have a right to a speedy trial in Florida. It's part of a seldom-used law passed in 2005.

In court this week, prosecutors announced that Casey's former friend, Amy Huizenga(alleged victim in the fraud case), will invoke that statute and seek to force the trial to begin now.

Casey's defense promised to counter, but NeJame says it's an uphill battle.

"I think that it may be time to go to trial on the fraud case," he said.