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State will help pay Casey Anthony's defense, judge orders

By Emanuella Grinberg and Jean Casarez, CNN/InSession
Casey Anthony says she has run out of money for her defense and is seeking the state's assistance.
Casey Anthony says she has run out of money for her defense and is seeking the state's assistance.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Defense hopes ruling will end "inappropriate speculation regarding any misuse of funds"
  • Casey Anthony's lawyers said she was broke, asked for help funding investigation, experts
  • Her lawyers said Anthony was entitled to financial aid under Sixth Amendment
  • Anthony faces death penalty in death of 2-year-old daughter Caylee

(CNN) -- The state of Florida must fund some of Casey Anthony's defense in her first-degree murder trial for the death of daughter Caylee, a judge ruled Friday.

"All costs submitted shall be in compliance with the Ninth Judicial Circuit's caps and rates and are subject to further review," Circuit Court Judge Stan Strickland said in a order issued Friday.

Anthony's defense team told the court Thursday that she was broke and could not bear expenses associated with her defense.

In Friday's order, Strickland granted Anthony's request to be declared indigent, which means the state will pay expenses related to her defense on a discretionary basis except for private attorney's fees.

Under Florida law, there is a presumption that a defendant is not indigent if he or she has assets of $2,500 or more, excluding the value of a home and one vehicle having a net value less than $5,000.

The "expectancy" of money is also taken into consideration. Defense lawyers testified Thursday that there were not any book or movie deals on the horizon for Anthony.

A spokeswoman for the DePaul Center for Justice in Capital Cases praised the ruling.

"The defense is pleased that this ruling came after an analysis of supplementary documents detailing the defense's income and expenditures, which were deemed by the court to meet the legal standards for the determination of indigency for costs," Liz Brown said.

Video: Casey Anthony's finances
Video: Anthony's request for aid
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"After consistent misinformation from legal analysts, bloggers, and commentators, the defense hopes this ruling ends inappropriate speculation regarding any misuse of funds and looks forward to Miss Anthony's day in court."

Anthony's lead attorney, Jose Baez, and Chicago death penalty attorney Andrea Lyon said in a four-page motion that they are not asking the state to pay their legal fees. They asked for assistance with fees for the service of subpoenas, investigations, travel, experts to interpret forensic evidence, expert witness fees and the cost of depositions.

The defense attorneys argued that Anthony is entitled to financial assistance under the Constitution's Sixth Amendment, which protects her right to a fair trial.

Because prosecutors have indicated they are seeking the death penalty, Anthony also is entitled to "the unique standard of care required for a capital defense," the attorneys assert.

Caylee Anthony's body was found in a lot near her grandparents' home in December 2008. The grandparents, George and Cindy Anthony, have been supportive of Casey Anthony but now are fighting foreclosure, according to a complaint filed by Bank of America.

Baez testified Thursday that the defense received and spent about $275,000 over the past year and a half. Of that, $5,000 came from an anonymous donor; $70,000 came from a former defense attorney, Todd Macaluso; and $200,000 came from ABC through a "deal" with Anthony. The terms of the deal were not released.

That money, Baez said, was spent on defense costs including travel, depositions and retention of experts.

"It's been quite an expensive task," he said.

Baez, who testified that he has spent about 2,500 hours on the case, has been paid an estimated $89,454, according to financial affidavits released by the court and written in what appears to be Casey Anthony's handwriting. Lyon has received $22,500 but testified Thursday that all of that money went back into costs associated with the case. "There's not a dime" left, she said.

Anthony wrote that both attorneys "were or are being paid by myself" and said her income is "zero" and her assets are "zero." She did not list her debts or liabilities.

Two more attorneys, Linda Kenney Baden and Cheney Mason, testified that they are working pro bono -- for free -- on the case.

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