Well, it's finally happened. The defense is now claiming that Casey Anthony can't afford her defense expenses.
WKMG is reporting about this long-awaited catastrophe.
Bold is mine:
Defense attorneys for Casey Anthony have filed a motion requesting that the court declare her indigent and have the taxpayers shoulder some of the cost of her defense.
Jose Baez filed the paperwork at 5 p.m. Friday. He is asking Judge Stan Strickland to declare Anthony indigent for costs, meaning she does not have the money to fund her defense.
Anthony is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her daughter, Caylee.
Anthony has already paid Baez and death penalty expert Andrea Lyon $111,954, but Baez said that is not enough to give Anthony the defense she needs, and taxpayers should make up the difference.
Nearly $90,000 of the amount was used for Baez's fees, the remainder covered Lyon's costs. She is working on the case for free.
Baez said Anthony, 23, was willing to pay for her defense until the state put the death penalty back on the table, making her unable to cover the expense.
The motion asks the state to cover the cost of depositions, transcripts, investigators, legal research, expert witness fees, medical or mental examinations, travel expenses and other costs the defense has or will incur.
Legal experts said defending a complex death penalty murder case like Anthony's can easily run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, especially when potential witnesses and experts are dispersed around the country.
Baez estimated the total cost of defending Anthony will amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
If Strickland signs the order, Florida taxpayers will pick up the bill for the defense costs, but not the defense fees.
Now, I have to ask... If Baez is claiming that the defense has spent $111,954 for the defense so far, and about $21,954 was for Andrea Lyon's expenses and the rest for Baez's fees, has the defense ever paid anyone else for their services?
Is the State of Florida to pay Dominic Casey the $90,000 he claims is owed to him? How many other "unpaid experts" have not had their expenses covered? It would seem so from what the article had to say.
Of course, Baez blames the reinstatement of the death penalty for the problem. However, the death penalty was reinstated April 13, 2009!
What Baez is saying here is that for the past 10+ months, the defense expense fund has been running on empty, with the exception of his fees and Andrea Lyon's expenses.
As an attorney, Baez should have had Casey declared indigent from day one of this case. Casey had even filled out the form prior to hiring Baez!
There has always been a great deal of speculation as to how the defense was being funded. A hearing held March 25, 2009 was instigated by a motion by the state to investigate the funding of the defense and the possible conflict of interest for the defense attorney. Read HERE for what that motion entailed. The judge was apparently satisfied that everything was okay after an in camera session with the defense.
I also find this new development fascinating because the motion apparently does not include Mr. Baez's fees.
When the issue first came up, it was pointed out that if Casey were to be declared indigent, the defense would have to open up the books to prove their case.
I have a few questions and hope you all have some ideas!
Will Baez have to produce his books to get the expenses?
Will he have to justify his $90,000 in fees?
Will he be able to withhold his fees from the case for indigence?
I am so looking forward to actually seeing this motion and I hope that Mr. Hornsby or Mr. Sheafer will fill in some of the blanks.