News Column

Casey Anthony Asks Judge: Don't Let Zenaida Gonzalez Mention Search for Caylee

Oct. 11, 2012

Jeff Weiner

Casey Anthony

Casey Anthony's attorneys this week continued their effort to limit damaging testimony in her upcoming defamation trial, asking a judge to bar from the suit any reference to the search for her daughter, Caylee Marie.

It was during that search, in 2008, when Anthony was accused of defaming Zenaida Gonzalez. Anthony told law enforcement looking for her daughter that Caylee had been kidnapped by a similarly named nanny.

The 2-year-old was later found dead. But Gonzalez was questioned by law enforcement and her name was linked to the high profile case in the media. She filed suit, saying the undue attention had upended her life.

The new defense motion asks Circuit Judge Lisa Munyon to prevent any evidence or testimony concerning search efforts "by any person or entity, including... law enforcement, Texas EquuSearch, [or] independent volunteers."

"The search efforts for Caylee Anthony are not relevant to any issue in this case," Anthony's lawyers argue, adding that "at most" Gonzalez's lawyers "may argue that Caylee Anthony was 'missing' in August of 2008."

The request is the latest in a series of motions based on a decision by Munyon in April, which threw out much of the lawsuit. What remains is based on a jailhouse visit by Anthony's parents to their daughter.

Anthony by then had told detectives that Gonzalez wasn't the nanny. But she told her parents during their visit that Gonzalez had not been ruled out, and her mother relayed that to the media, keeping Gonzalez in the firestorm.

Based on Munyon's ruling in April, Anthony's lawyers have since sought to chip away at the lawsuit. Recently, the judge granted a request to largely preclude references to Anthony's murder case from the lawsuit.

Anthony was acquitted on all major charges in Caylee's death last year. She is currently living in hiding but has been subpoenaed to appear at the defamation trial, which is currently scheduled for early January.



Source: (c)2012 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.