Judge delays decision in Casey Anthony civil suits



TAMPA, Fla. - Late Thursday afternoon a federal judge in Tampa delayed making a decision in two civil cases against Casey Anthony.

Anthony was hoping to get the defamation lawsuits thrown out to avoid liability and to avoid having to testify.

But WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said the bankruptcy judge could force Anthony to testify about why she allegedly accused Zenaida Gonzalez of Kissimmee of kidnapping Anthony's missing daughter before switching to the drowning story.

Sheaffer said the survival of the lawsuits hinges on whether Anthony's accusations against innocent people were malicious.

Anthony's lawyers want the federal judge to throw out the two defamation lawsuits against her filed by Gonzalez and by Roy Kronk, the man who found the remains of Anthony's daughter, Caylee.

The lawsuits accuse Anthony of blaming Gonzalez and Krong for Caylee's disappearance or death.

Then Anthony would like to be cleared of all her other debts.

On Thursday, the judge said that Anthony might have to testify about why she said what she said.

Anthony's lawyers said they still think she has the right to take the Fifth and not testify in the defamation cases.

"We'll address issues as they arise. That's all I can say on that," Anthony's lawyer Andrew Chmelir said Thursday.

"The whole goal here of theirs has been, 'Let us get this decided without putting poor Casey on the stand,'" said Scott Shuker, Gonzalez's lawyer.

Sheaffer said Anthony has no more pending criminal cases against her. She can't argue that she might incriminate herself.

He said he believes the federal bankruptcy judge might order her to come back to Tampa and take the witness stand.