By Calvin Palmer
A Florida judge ruled today that the public must pay court costs for Casey Anthony, the woman accused of murdering her two-year-old daughter, Caylee Marie Anthony.
Earlier, Anthony’s lawyers told Circuit Judge Stan Strickland that Anthony had received $200,000 from ABC News for family photos and videos and another anonymous donation of $5,000 but that money was gone.
Strickland said that he had reviewed Anthony’s finances and concluded that she is indigent.
His order requires the state to pay all costs associated with her defense except for lawyer fees. Anthony has lawyers from Chicago and New York, as well as Kissimmee and Orlando.
Yesterday, her attorneys testified as to where the money went. Jose Baez said he had received $89,500 for 2,500 hours of work.
Andrea Lyon, a professor at DePaul University in Chicago, testified that she is representing Anthony for free but had been paid $22,500 for expenses.
Anthony is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Caylee Marie, who disappeared a year and a half ago. Her body was found in a patch of woods close to her Orlando home five months later.
Anthony turned 24 today. She remains in the Orange County Jail under protective custody, meaning she is segregated from most other inmates and has few privileges.
ABC spokeswoman Cathie Levine said the money was paid to acquire photos and video footage, and that the deal was made in August 2008 before Anthony was charged.
I always thought checkbook journalism was the stuff of British tabloid newspapers. It would appear ABC News has joined them in the gutter.
Whatever happened to journalistic standards and, more to the point, journalistic skepticism? I guess winning the ratings war is just as important as newspapers winning the circulation war, and the truth be hanged.