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Casey Anthony defense wants parents kept out of courtroom

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Retracing Casey Anthony's steps
  • Parents' right "must yield to the defendant's right to a fair trial," defense says
  • Defense asks that the parents be sequestered during trial's "relevant portions"
  • Prosecutors contend Anthony used "a substance" to kill her daughter, Caylee
  • Jury selection begins Monday; Anthony faces a capital murder charge

Tune in to "Nancy Grace" tonight at 8 ET on HLN for new late breaking details on how Casey Anthony's own family is playing a big role in the case against her.

Orlando, Florida (CNN) -- A lawyer for Casey Anthony said Thursday in a court filing that he doesn't want the parents of the accused child killer in the courtroom during her first-degree murder trial.

The defense objected to a motion from the parents -- George and Cindy Anthony -- who had asked Orange County Superior Court Chief Judge Belvin Perry Jr. that they be exempted from the rule of sequestration for relatives of the victim.

The parents have the right to attend all crucial stages of the proceedings, but "this right must yield to the defendant's right to a fair trial," the defense motion said, citing a ruling in another case.

Courts typically prefer that witnesses not be allowed to attend out of fear that others' testimony could affect that of the witnesses.

"George and Cindy Anthony will likely be subject to impeachment by the testimony of other witnesses," said the motion, which was signed by defense attorney J. Cheney Mason.

Casey's parents want a private visit

It asks that the Anthonys be sequestered "throughout the relevant portions" of the trial.

Perry did not immediately issue a response.

Prosecutors contend that Anthony, 25, used "a substance" to kill her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee.

Anthony faces a capital murder charge in the death of her daughter, plus six other charges including aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter of a child and misleading law enforcement.

The girl was reported missing in July 2008, about a month after she was last seen. Five months later, investigators found her remains.

The case has generated such intense media coverage that the court has decided to move jury selection, scheduled to start Monday, to another location because of concerns about getting an impartial jury in Orange County. Jurors will be taken to Orange County for the trial.

Anthony's parents, as well as her brother, have testified in pretrial hearings. Her mother made frantic 911 calls on July 15, 2008, when she learned that the 2-year-old had been missing for a month, and confronted her daughter about it, according to court documents.