Casey Anthony's attorneys can see crime scene

By: By MIKE SCHNEIDER, Associated Press Writer
By: By MIKE SCHNEIDER, Associated Press Writer

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - A judge on Friday denied a motion from Casey Anthony's defense attorneys to remove prosecutors from her murder trial but ruled that the defense team can inspect woods where the remains of her slain toddler were found.

Casey Anthony is charged with killing her daughter, Caylee, who was 2 when she disappeared last summer.

The motion alleged that someone in the prosecutor's office in Orlando filed a complaint with the Florida Bar against Anthony's attorney, Jose Baez, in an effort to interfere with her right to effective counsel. The motion also alleged that the complaint was an attempt to taint a potential jury pool and that the case should be taken from the State Attorney's Office in Orlando and given to the Office of State Attorney General.

Circuit Judge Stan Strickland ruled there was no evidence that Anthony's rights had been violated.

Casey Anthony attended the pretrial hearing after the judge this week ordered her to appear at all hearings dealing with evidence and witnesses.

Caylee Anthony's remains were found last December by a utility worker in woods near where the toddler lived with her mother and grandparents. Caylee Anthony disappeared last June but her mother waited a month before reporting her missing to authorities. Casey Anthony has claimed that a baby sitter kidnapped Caylee.

Forensic experts on her defense team have been wanting to examine the woods where the remains were found for weeks but the property owner has been uncooperative, Baez said. The judge gave the defense team permission to examine the crime scene.

Baez told the judge that he intended to seek a change of venue because of the publicity the case has generated in Orlando. No formal request has been made yet, and both the defense attorney and prosecutor in the case said in court that the trial won't take place until later in the year.

"We want her to have her day in court," Baez said after the hearing. "She is innocent and wants her day in court."

The judge also heard a defense motion to force a search and recovery group to turn over records related to its search for Caylee's remains. Texas Equusearch organized hundreds of volunteers to search areas in Orlando, including an area near where Caylee's remains were eventually found. The defense request also seeks records on the volunteers.

An attorney for the search group, Mark NeJame, called the request a "fishing expedition" and told the judge he didn't have jurisdiction to issue a subpoena for the records because the search group was based in Texas, not Florida. None of the volunteer searchers were in the exact spot where Caylee's remains were found, NeJame said.

The judge was expected to rule on the request by late Friday.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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