Video: Outburst halts Casey Anthony trial

NBC News and news services
updated 5/20/2011 8:42:36 PM ET 2011-05-21T00:42:36

Jury selection in the Casey Anthony murder trial was halted Friday morning when a spectator in the courtroom gallery yelled, "She killed somebody, anyway," at the Orlando woman who is accused of killing her daughter.

The proceedings went into recess after the outburst from the woman, who was sitting in the Pinellas County courtroom. She was immediately escorted out of the courtroom by deputies and sent to a holding room, The Associated Press reported.

Eventually, the selection resumed and 12 jurors and five alternates were sworn in Friday. The trial is set to begin Tuesday with opening statements.

Casey Anthony, 25, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her daughter, Caylee, who was 2 when she died.

Caylee Anthony's decomposed body was found with duct tape over the mouth of her skull in December 2008 not far from where she had lived with her mother. If convicted, the toddler's mother could face the death penalty.

Jury selection was held outside of Orlando because of intense pretrial publicity.

Local media identified the woman who disrupted Friday's proceedings as Elizabeth Ann Rogers, 29, of St. Petersburg. Judge Belvin Perry found her in contempt and ordered that she immediately be taken into custody. She was sentenced to two days in jail.

"Do you realize that as a result of your outburst, the defense has asked that a juror be challenged for cause? We are in the final stages and have not selected a jury," Perry said, according to WESH.com.

Rogers told Perry she suffered from numerous mental illnesses, but had taken her medication Friday morning, WESH reported.

"I had no idea I was going to say that," she told the judge. "I just wanted to see for myself. I have a 3-year-old son and I wanted to see why. I'm very sorry."

Perry said he would have sentenced Rogers to 179 days in jail if she did not have a disability. Rogers will serve her sentence in the Pinellas County Jail and will be represented by a public defender because she did not have money for an attorney.

Rogers said she was at the courthouse for a domestic incident case involving her fiancee.

This article includes reporting from NBC News, The Associated Press and Reuters.

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