Casey Anthony Files For Bankruptcy
Two years ago, her murder trial for the death of her toddler riveted the country, ending with Anthony’s dramatic acquittal. But she was convicted on four counts of lying to authorities.
On Friday, an appeals court threw out two of those convictions.
Now, the 26-year-old has filed for bankruptcy, citing almost $800,000 in liabilities.
And her legal struggles are far from over.
Bankruptcy motive questioned
Anthony sought Chapter 7 protection in a federal court in Tampa on Friday, soon after the appeals court ruling.
Such a filing is meant to allow one to do away with most existing debts and make a fresh start financially.
In the documents, Anthony says she owes almost $800,000 to about 80 creditors, and she has no income.
She is also defending herself against several civil lawsuits, including a defamation suit from Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, who claims Anthony ruined her reputation.
In 2008, Anthony told an investigator the last time she saw her 2-year-old daughter Caylee was when she dropped Caylee off at Gonzalez’s apartment.
Gonzalez’s attorney, Matt Morgan, told CNN affiliate Central Florida News 13 he believes the bankruptcy filing is an attempt to postpone the case.
“This most recent filing appears to be yet another calculated delay tactic,” Morgan said. “We are not deterred and will stay the course.”
But an attorney for Anthony told the affiliate his client is distraught that she can’t pay her legal fees.
“To some extent she feels, she feels bad that she’s having to have all these legal services provided to her and she is unable to compensate anyone,” Andy Chmelir said. “So she wants closure more than anything else.”
What she has and what she owes
Anthony listed about $1,000 in personal property, according to court documents obtained by News 13. The listed property values include:
– Cash on hand: $474
– Furniture and laptop: $200
– Jewelry: $200
– Clothing and accessories: $100
The documents also list people that might have a claim against Anthony, which includes her mother and consultants that helped in her criminal case, News 13 reported.
Claims listed in the filing include:
– Jose Baez, the lead defense attorney during Anthony’s trial: $500,000
– Orange County Sheriff’s Office: $145,660.21
– Internal Revenue Service: $68,540
– Cindy and George Anthony, her parents: Unknown amounts
Anthony: “We keep fighting” after two convictions tossed
The filing came the same day Florida’s 5th District Court of Appeal threw out two of Anthony’s four convictions of lying to authorities as they investigated the disappearance of Caylee.
The appeals judges agreed with Anthony’s argument that the multiple convictions amounted to double jeopardy. But the judges upheld the other two convictions.
According to Friday’s court filing, the appeals judges rejected Anthony’s claim that statements she made before being read her Miranda rights should not have been allowed in the trial. And they rejected her argument that the state statute she was convicted of violating is unconstitutionally vague.
Attorney Cheney Mason said when he called his client to share the ruling that two of the four convictions had been overturned, Anthony said, “We keep fighting.”
Anthony could appeal the remaining two convictions to the Florida Supreme Court next.
Caylee Anthony’s death and the emotional trial
In an internationally publicized case, Anthony was tried in 2011 and acquitted of murder charges in the death of Caylee.
The child was last seen June 16, 2008, but was not reported missing until July 15, 2008, when Casey Anthony’s mother tracked her daughter down and demanded answers about Caylee’s whereabouts.
Investigators searched for the child for five months, eventually finding Caylee’s skeletal remains in woods less than a mile from her grandparents’ Orlando home.
When questioned early in the investigation, Casey Anthony admitted to police that she hadn’t seen Caylee for more than 30 days, and on July 16, 2008, she was arrested on suspicion of child neglect, filing false official statements and obstructing a criminal investigation.
After almost three years of legal maneuvers, Anthony’s capital murder trial began on May 24, 2011.
Prosecutors alleged that she killed Caylee by using chloroform and covering her nose and mouth with duct tape, and that she put her body in the trunk of her car before dumping it in the woods.
Defense attorney Jose Baez argued that Caylee drowned in the Anthony family pool on June 16, 2008, and that Casey Anthony and her father, George, covered up the death.
On July 5, 2011, a jury found Anthony not guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and aggravated manslaughter of a child, while convicting her on the four “false information” counts.
Anthony was sentenced to four years in jail, to be served consecutively. But with her time in jail as she awaited trial counting against the jail terms, she was released 10 days after her sentencing.
By AnneClaire Stapleton and Holly Yan
CNN’s Mark Morgenstein and In Session’s Jean Casarez contributed to this report.
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