staff and news service reports
updated 7/26/2011 7:01:17 PM ET 2011-07-26T23:01:17

The identities of most of the jurors who served in the Casey Anthony murder trial will remain private until at least Oct. 25, according to a ruling made Tuesday by the judge in the case.

The Orlando Sentinel reported that Chief Judge Belvin Perry said in his 12-page ruling that he considered the safety and the well-being of the jurors in making his decision. Usually juror names become public in Florida as soon as a verdict is rendered.

But the Anthony case drew national attention and the jury's decision on July 5 to acquit the Florida mother of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee sparked an intense reaction and outrage among some.

Perry noted the large crowd gathered outside the Orange County Courthouse immediately after the verdict. "Many, if not all, were outraged and distressed by the verdict, and were not hesitant to show their contempt for the jurors," Perry wrote in his ruling.

Perry said he wanted to implement a three-month "cooling off" period before making the names of 14 of the 17 jurors public. Others have already spoken to the media.

Perry noted "the jurors themselves were essentially voiceless" regarding the release of their names, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

"No one spoke for the jurors and no one provided evidence concerning the jurors' safety or privacy concerns," the judge wrote. "No one argued the public policy consequences of releasing juror information.

After the verdict, five media companies, including The Associated Press, asked for the release of the names. One of the attorneys for the media companies told the AP Tuesday that no immediate decision had been on how to proceed.

In another development Tuesday, an Orlando man was sent to jail for violating rules designed to manage the large crowds drawn to the courthouse during her murder trial.

Mark Schmidter, a 64-year-old roofing contractor, was found guilty of two counts of indirect criminal contempt for handing out leaflets on June 29 seeking to sway members of juries and for doing so outside of specially marked "free speech zones" created for Anthony protesters and supporters.

Perry sentenced Schmidter to 151 days in jail after a brief trial.

Schmidter's lawyer, Adam Sudbury, said his client belongs to a group that believes in jury nullification, or jury pardon, which occurs when jurors decide to find someone not guilty because they believe the underlying charge is unfair.

Sudbury told Reuters that Schmidter had been handing out brochures regularly at the courthouse front door since 2010, and did not encounter the Anthony jury which, under tight security, did not use the front door.

"This has everything to do with he got wrapped up in the circus that was the Casey Anthony trial. He got swept up in the whirlwind rather than he sought out the whirlwind," Sudbury said.

Sudbury said the special restrictions on free speech during the Anthony trial were "highly unusual," sweeping and confusing. The attorney said he would appeal the verdict against Schmidter and seek bail for his client in the meantime.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Video: Where is Casey Anthony?

  1. Closed captioning of: Where is Casey Anthony?

    >>> begin with casey anthony , a free woman today. her whereabouts, a secret. nbc's kerry sanders is outside the orange county jail. kerry, good morning.

    >> reporter: well, good morning, ann . after being solitary in a cell here for three years and one day, late on the -- early on sunday morning, casey anthony left the jail here. she got into a gray suv , was pursued for a short time by news helicopters and then casey anthony vanished. flanked by her attorney, casey anthony , wearing a bright pink shirt, skinny jeans and sneakers mouthed a simple thank you to one of the armed officers at the jail, and this just 15 seconds, she was out the front door. amid protesters' calls, casey made her way to an awaiting suv , where she flashed a slim smile, and then she and her crews sped off. some gathered here still angry at her acquittal. some chase on foot, while from above, news helicopters follow the gray suburban.

    >> get out of the roadway.

    >> get out of the street!

    >> reporter: deputies blocked off access, giving casey a secure route to escape the community's anger.

    >> she is not worth the time of day . after tonight, she is dead in my room. she's gone.

    >> reporter: the unusually high level of security, including mounted patrols, was put in place after casey 's lawyers said she had received repeated death threats. the gray suburban escape vehicle, unlike that other famous chase of the white bronco on california's 405, gave airborne cameramen the slip among the buildings in downtown orlando . it's believed casey went to her attorney's office, but for a while, it appeared the suv had driven on to the tarmac at a city airport, where a private jet took off. faa records show the plane went to columbus, ohio. but there's no passenger manifest to reveal if it casey was on board. where did casey go? her attorneys won't say, her brother won't say, her parents won't say.

    >> we're out here for caylee.

    >> reporter: sunday, people gathered here where caylee's remains were found, all with a shared sense of anguish.

    >> i just keep thinking about little caylee, and how sad that her sweet little life -- she wasn't even 3 years old, and this is what she had to go through. and it just breaks my heart. i just wanted to honor this little girl 's memory.

    >> reporter: cindy is casey anthony 's mother. now, her attorney tells nbc news that when she was watching on tv, that plane on the tarmac, she texted jose baez, casey anthony 's attorney, and said, "is my daughter on that plane," and she got back two simple words. "she's safe." jose baez, defense attorney , had asked george and cindy anthony , casey 's parents, to get into a vehicle to create a decoy vehicle, to draw people away from wherever casey was going, but they declined. so this morning, casey anthony is free. whereabouts, unknown. ann ? is .

    >> all right, kerry sanders , thank you. cheney mason is casey anthony 's defense attorney , joining us with an exclusive interview. mr. mason, good morning.

    >> good morning, ann .

    >> what can you tell us about where casey anthony is?

    >> well, not a whole lot more than jose is, other than she is safe, and we are confident about that. and very comfortable with it.

    >> can you confirm she boarded a plane?

    >> i will not confirm she boarded a plane or flew on her own. she's gone, she's safe and elaborate plans had to be made to keep the people away from her.

    >> elaborate plans. what kind of life will she have there?

    >> well, i'm sure that you know as well as anybody else, her life is going to be very difficult for a very long time. as long as there are so many people of a lynch mob mentality and those willing to deny the fact that a jury found her not guilty, she is going to have issues. even without that, she's got issues of dealing with the loss of her child, which she has not gotten over, and probably never will. and the fact that she spent three years locked up in a cage. this is very psychologically expensive for a human being , and it will take a while for her to adjust.

    >> will she have security?

    >> yes. she will have security. she has security.

    >> who is funding her life, sir?

    >> volunteers. we've had an outpouring of people offering their time and whatever they can do to try to help her. lots of people in this country, despite the mobs, do, in fact, believe in the constitution and presumption of innocence and lots of people are trying to help her.

    >> you mentioned these mobs. is there any part of you that understands why people can't let this go? why people are upset that she is free?

    >> well, yes, i do. and the good part about it is that there are those protections in our government that allow people to express their opinions, no matter how strong they are. there's a winner and a loser in most of these contests, except this one is a lot of losing. the fact of the matter is, there are people that are going to be upset based a lot on their ignorance or intolerance. and as i said, lynch mob [ female announcer ] think


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