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Jury costs in upcoming Casey Anthony trial estimated at $361,000

By Adam Blank, In Session
Casey Anthony faces a capital murder charge in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee.
Casey Anthony faces a capital murder charge in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Costs to Orlando court system cover housing, transportation, meals
  • Also included: courthouse costs, wages associated with sheriff's office, clerks
  • Jury selection for the trial begins May 9
  • Casey Anthony is on trial for capital murder in the 2008 death of her daughter

(CNN) -- The 20 jurors to be selected in the Orlando, Florida, murder trial of Casey Anthony will cost the court system an estimated $361,000, according to court administrators.

According to a cost breakdown spreadsheet obtained by "In Session" on truTV, these expenses include everything from housing, transportation and three daily meals, to wages associated with the sheriff's office, court clerks and courthouse facilities for the duration of the trial.

The jurors will be sequestered for the trial, in which Anthony, who turns 25 on Saturday, faces a capital murder charge in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee. The girl was reporting missing in July 2008, and investigators found her body after five months of intense searches.

Prior to a jury being seated, the Orange County Clerk of Courts Office will be required to pay nearly $4,000 in jury selection costs.

"It's an estimate of the expenses, but it's certainly not all-inclusive," court spokeswoman Karen Levey told the Orlando Sentinel. However, she added, the cost breakdown per juror is "fairly accurate."

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Orange County Clerk of Courts Lydia Gardner told the newspaper that "funding for the Casey Anthony trial is in serious jeopardy" and that she "informed both the chief justice of the state Supreme Court as well as Chief (Judge) Belvin Perry of these dire circumstances."

Florida Gov. Rick Scott in February proposed cutting state spending by more than $5 billion this fiscal year. That includes a cut of about 8.4 percent -- or nearly $40 million -- to the state courts' budget for 2011-12, according to the governor's web site.

In a statement released Thursday, Levey said the chief judge knows that Gardner "has concerns regarding her office's ability to cover the costs that her office is responsible for, ... such as jury sequestration."

Levey added that the legislative session is in its early stages and talks of a continuance in the case on "are extremely premature."

Jury selection in Casey Anthony's murder trail is scheduled to start May 9, and Levey stressed that the date "has not been continued."

Aletse Mellado of "In Session" contributed to this report.

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