My good blogging friend "Katfish" of Katfish Ponders has been writing about some high-profile cases in the news. What's noteworthy about Katfish is, she's been attending hearings in the case of Nicholas Sheley, (charged in the week-long spree-killing of eight people in the state of Illinois in 2008) and like me, writing about her experiences. Recently, she was visiting family in Florida over the holidays and during that time, was able to attend a hearing in the Casey Anthony case. She finally got her notes up on her blog today. Below is a short excerpt of her entry.
A Visit to Orlando in the Casey Anthony Case
I was fortunate to be able to spend 10 days in Tampa (Brandon), FL with family over the Christmas holiday. It was a fantastic trip....a lot of wonderful family memories were made :) However, one memory is not of time spent with my family, but a little side trip I made to Orlando, on December 20, to attend a hearing in the Casey Anthony case. Although the experience was interesting for me, the hearing ended up being pretty short and uneventful, so I decided not to take more time from my family to write about it.
Casey Anthony is charged with first-degree murder in the 2008 death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee Marie. She has pleaded not guilty, claiming a babysitter kidnapped her toddler. Caylee was last seen in June of 2008, but she was not reported missing until a month later. Her remains were found in woods near the family's home in December 2008.
Now that we've been home a few weeks and I'm caught up on some other cases I've been following, it seems like a good time to share my Orlando experience. Before leaving IL, I had printed up directions on Mapquest with directions from my nieces home to the Orange County courthouse in Orlando. The route was a pretty direct shot, but I'd be remiss if I didn't give kudos to Mapquest for their helpful directions... for example step #10. Take the 2nd LEFT onto E LIVINGSTON ST. If you are on N ORANGE AVE and reach E ROBINSON ST you've gone about 0.1 miles too far. (When you've never been to a location before, those extra details really help and Mapquest offers them through-out :)
Even though I drove between 70-80 mph (keeping up with traffic....honestly) most of way, the 90 mile trip took about 1 1/2 hours. Once I completed step 10 on my directions I noticed a sign that said "Juror Parking" leading into a parking garage, I took the turn and found a spot to park.
Coming out of the parking garage(building on left in picture) on ground level, I notice the courthouse is right in front of me (it's huge). I follow signs directing to the main entrance, right before entering, I pass Jose Baez heading in the other direction. I assume the attorneys have a different access but make a mental note that Baez has that "Dennis the Menace" type smile on his face that many (including me) have referred to as a "smirk".....seems that's his regular look. LOL, I bet he was an ornery kid.
I head on into the courthouse through the main entrance and see a long line of people going through security. Before taking my place in line, I ask at the information desk, "Where is Judge Belvin Perry's courtroom?" Without even looking up, the employee tells me, "Up on 23". It took just a few minutes to go through the security line and then I head for the far bank of elevators that will go up to 23. Once on the 23rd floor I see Judge Perry's chamber on one side and the courtroom is on the other side of a waiting area. There are several people sitting and standing around.
Continue reading at Katfish Ponders....