ORLANDO, Fla. - Judge Belvin Perry had a front row seat as Casey Anthony stood trial in connection to her daughter's murder, but his recent comments about Anthony's acquittal are sparking another battle.
During a recent interview, Perry said he was surprised, shocked and in disbelief when Anthony was found not guilty, and now she's filed a legal motion claiming the statement will make it too difficult for her to get a fair hearing in her defamation case.
WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said he doesn't think the comments will have much
of an effect, but he's not surprised Anthony's attorney are trying to use the comments to her advantage.
Perry made national headlines when he opened up on the "Today Show," giving his take on Anthony and her high-profile murder trial.
In the interview, Perry commented on the verdict and even said what he personally thought of Anthony.
"Very manipulative," he said.
Perry also said he believes there was enough evidence to convict Anthony, but his openness is drawing backlash from Anthony's attorneys in her federal bankruptcy case.
Anthony is protected from lawsuits because of a bankruptcy filing, but attorneys for Zenaida Gonzalez and former meter reader Roy Kronk want that protection lifted so they can proceed with defamation lawsuits against Anthony.
In a document recently filed, Anthony's attorney argued, "The presiding judge for Ms. Anthony's criminal case, completely eviscerated any possible chance that Ms. Anthony might receive a fair trial in Orange County."
The attorney specifically mentioned a comment in which Perry said, "Justice will finally be served one day by the judge of judges."
"Certainly a lawyer is going to take advantage of any issue they think may come into the mix and perhaps persuade a judge not to lift the stay," said Sheaffer.
But Sheaffer said he doesn't think a federal judge will stop the lawsuits from going forward simply based on what Perry said on TV, and he doesn't think Perry's comments will have an influence on how other judges handle a civil trial for Anthony.
At this point, most everyone already has an opinion about the Anthony verdict, so Perry's comments won't influence a jury, either, said Sheaffer.