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Anthony trial put on hold till Tuesday

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Anthony judge: 'Enough is enough'
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Judge Belvin Perry cancels Monday's testimony in the Casey Anthony trial
  • NEW: Court will resume Tuesday morning
  • Earlier, Perry scolded attorneys in Anthony case for continued "gamesmanship"
  • Anthony is accused of killing her daughter, Caylee, in 2008

Tune in to HLN's "Nancy Grace" at 8 ET for live reports from Orlando, Florida on the Casey Anthony trial. And follow the action on Nancy's special Casey Anthony trial page.

Orlando (CNN) -- The judge in the Casey Anthony murder trial abruptly canceled Monday's session after initially delaying court to allow defense attorneys more time to pick up a witness.

Anthony's defense team had to scramble to get a witness to court after Judge Belvin Perry ruled that neither of the two witnesses they had on hand would be allowed to testify Monday.

It wasn't immediately clear why Perry canceled the session. Earlier in the morning, while scolding attorneys for what he called continued "gamesmanship," he complained of the trial's slow place.

"By joint stipulation, court is in recess until 9 tomorrow morning," Perry said without explanation in a brief announcement from the bench.

Some spectators who managed to get tickets to attend the trial -- a hot ticket in Orlando -- grumbled quietly as they left the courtroom.

"I guess it's just the luck of the draw," one spectator said on the way out.

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Perry is presiding over the trial of Anthony, the 25-year-old Orlando woman accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, in 2008.

Testimony had been scheduled to resume at 9 a.m., but shortly after Perry entered the courtroom, prosecutor Jeff Ashton asked the judge again to delay the testimony of a defense witness who had been ordered off the stand Saturday.

Forensic anthropologist William Rodriguez had planned to testify Saturday about duct tape found near Caylee's skeletal remains and a controversial video that prosecutors say proves that a piece of duct tape could have been the murder weapon.

But Rodriguez's opinions were not contained in his report filed with the court and weren't shared with prosecutors, a violation of a court order, the judge said.

Perry called the omission "quite intentional" and said he would consider contempt proceedings against defense attorney Jose Baez at the conclusion of the trial.

He renewed the threat Monday after Baez complained to Perry that Ashton deliberately refused to take a deposition from a witness, DNA expert Richard Eikelenboom, on Saturday.

Ashton told the judge that Baez had sent Eikelenboom to his office with a half-page report that "indicated nothing, essentially," leaving him with little for questioning.

Perry warned any further deliberate violations of his orders to reveal evidence and opinions to opposing attorneys could result in the exclusion of that evidence from the trial.

That is an extreme step that has not yet been upheld in Florida courts, but Perry said he would be willing to take the action "at the cost of doing this all over again" should the violations continue.

Perry granted Ashton's request to delay Rodriguez's testimony. Eikelenboom -- the defense's second planned witness of the day -- could not testify because prosecutors have not interviewed him, leaving defense attorneys scrambling to pick up their third witness.

A clearly displeased Perry postponed the first testimony of the day until about 10:30 a.m. But when attorneys came back to court, Perry summoned them into his chambers for meetings, before emerging at about 11 a.m. to announce the daylong recess.

Anthony is charged with seven counts, including first degree murder, in her daughter's death. If convicted, she could face the death penalty.

Prosecutors allege Anthony used chloroform to make her daughter unconscious, then used duct tape to cover her nose and mouth, suffocating her. The girl's skeletal remains were found in a wooded field six months after her family last reported seeing her.

Defense attorneys say Caylee was not murdered, but that she accidentally drowned in the family pool on June 16, the day she was last seen. They argue that Anthony and her father, George Anthony, panicked and covered up the death.

George Anthony has rejected that scenario in his testimony.

Perry ordered attorneys to be in court at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, instead of the customary 9, and told them to plan for a full workday on Saturday instead of usual half-day. He also threatened to cut the time for lunch.

"If y'all don't want to act professional, I will work you real full days," Perry said.

The trial entered its fifth week Monday.

In Session's Mayra Cuevas, Ilana Rosenbluth and Michael Christian contributed to this report.

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