Published November 19, 2008
The witness list in the murder trial of a missing Orlando toddler's mother has been released, and a hearing on a gag order request in the case has been postponed.
Among those the prosecution plans to call to the stand in Casey Anthony's first-degree murder trial are her parents, George and Cindy Anthony; her boyfriend at the time of then 2-year-old Caylee's disappearance, Tony Lazzaro; her brother, Lee Anthony; and, in a twist, her lead attorney Jose Baez, according to MyFOXOrlando.com.
In all, there are 83 witnesses on the list. The trial is scheduled to begin in January 2009.
Meanwhile, the prosecutor's gag order request hearing was rescheduled for Nov. 25.
An Orange County Circuit judge will also hear requests that day from the defense to reveal evidence, and from the Orlando Sentinel, which opposes the gag order in the first-degree murder case against 22-year-old Casey Anthony.
Caylee Anthony, who would now be 3, was last seen in June but her mother did not report her missing until July. Her body has not been recovered.
Casey Anthony has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter and four counts of lying to investigators about the disappearance of her daughter.
Earlier this week, Anthony's attorney announced that she is countersuing a woman who filed a defamation lawsuit against her for naming her as the child's kidnapper.
The counter lawsuit was filed against Orlando resident Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez, after Gonzalez sued her days earlier for saying she was the baby sitter Anthony left Caylee with when she vanished, according to MyFOXOrlando.com.
Anthony is jailed on first-degree murder and other charges in the disappearance of her little girl, who is presumed dead. Investigators don't believe her story that she left Caylee with a sitter, and have released evidence they say proves Anthony killed her.
Anthony's attorney Jose Baez countersued Gonzalez Friday on the grounds that her lawsuit is "frivolous" and simply a publicity stunt by her lawyer, MyFOXOrlando.com reported.
Baez said Gonzalez filed her litigation "to harass and embarrass" Anthony, and her attorney John Morgan is attempting to "generate publicity for his law firm."
Gonzalez formally sued Anthony two days earlier, saying that she was wrongfully accused of kidnapping Caylee and the information Anthony gave to police was "done with malice," according to MyFOXOrlando.com. She said she has never met Anthony or her family.
Baez spokesman Todd Black said Friday it isn't the same woman.
"The Zenaida Gonzalez that Ms. Anthony was referring to drove a different car; she had a different name and she had less [sic] children than the plaintiff has," the counter claim says. "In Orange County, Florida, alone, there are more than 20 listings for a Zenaida Gonzalez, and the plaintiff cannot prove that she has been defamed."
When shown a photo of the Zenaida Gonzalez who is suing her, Anthony said it wasn't the woman she left Caylee with, according to the countersuit.
Anthony is seeking damages of more than $15,000, along with attorney fees and court costs, MyFOXOrlando.com said.
Meanwhile, Caylee's grandparents said Monday that they will issue a statement this week through their new family representative about their belief that the little girl is still alive, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
"Hopefully, by the end of the week the public will understand why we've been searching for Caylee Marie," Michelle Bart, who took over as Anthony family spokeswoman, told the Sentinel. "We truly believe that Caylee Marie is alive."
Forensic tests released last month confirmed that hair found in the trunk of Anthony's Pontiac Sunfire came from a decomposing body. DNA evidence suggests a corpse had been in the car's trunk. The child hasn't been found.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.