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State reverses itself, will seek death in Casey Anthony case

  • Story Highlights
  • Florida's turnaround could have a major impact on how the case plays out
  • Casey Anthony's defense filed motion for more phone records from a dozen people
  • Motion asks for all "phone calls, text messages" of those associated with case
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By Philip Rosenbaum
Nancy Grace Producer
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- In a dramatic reversal, the Florida state attorney's office announced Monday it will seek the death penalty against Casey Anthony, the 23-year-old woman charged in the death of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee.

Casey Anthony is charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of her daughter Caylee, 2,  Trial is set for October.

Casey Anthony is charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of her daughter Caylee, 2, Trial is set for October.

The state had previously said it would not ask for the death sentence for Anthony.

The development could have a major impact on how the case plays out at trial, including whether defense attorney Jose Baez can stay on the case.

Baez has not been certified by the court to defend capital punishment cases.

Prosecutors announced their change in strategy in a letter of intent. Read the letter of intent (pdf)

Meanwhile, Anthony's defense filed a motion on Friday with Orange County Circuit Court, seeking more phone records from a dozen people involved in the case. The motion asks for any and all records for "phone calls, text messages, P2P communications, Internet usage, WAP usage, and cell tower pings."

The defense wants records from the defendant's parents, George and Cindy Anthony; her former fiancé, Jesse Grund; her brother, Lee Anthony; a friend, Amy Huizenga; and Roy Kronk, the meter reader who found Caylee's remains in December of last year.

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Kronk had called authorities as early as last August to report he had seen a suspicious bag in the area.

Other names on the list include several former boyfriends, two private investigators, a volunteer searcher and Richard Cain, an Orange County Sheriff's deputy.

Cain was fired after an internal investigation found he failed to respond to repeated calls from Kronk about the suspicious bag. Cain has refused to leave the job and is awaiting an appeal.

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"Various cell phone service providers are in possession of certain items which are material to the preparation of the defense in this cause,'' the motion says, adding, ''the items sought by this application cannot be obtained through normal discovery."

The motion says the release of these records could lead to admissible evidence in Anthony's trial, which is set to begin in October. Anthony is charged with first-degree murder of Caylee, whose remains were found in woods near her grandparents' home in Orlando.

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