Casey Anthony Case: Judge Steps Down in Scathing Decision

Apr 19, 2010 10:03pm

ABC News' Lee Ferran reports: After two years presiding over the Casey Anthony case, Judge Stan Strickland stepped down today, but not before leaving the defense team some choice, cutting words in his decision to do so.

The defense for Anthony entered a motion Friday accusing Judge Strickland of having a personal relationship with a blogger that they said was pro-prosecution after the judge complimented the blogger in court. Strickland also reportedly called the blogger when he was sick.

Strickland entered his decision granting the motion today on the grounds not that his comments had been inappropriate, but that after the accusation, any further decisions he makes would "generate renewed allegations of bias."

In the realm of court documents, which could often be described as dry or even dull, the judge's biting remarks and sharp sarcasm stand out.

"The issue before the Court presently is the Defendant's Motion to Disqualify the undersigned filed (courageously!) at 4:48 p.m. on Friday afternoon, April 16, 2010," Strickland wrote. "Obviously the defense counsel's intent was to maximize exposure, and minimize or delay any response."

Strickland explained his comments and relationship with the blogger as nothing out of the ordinary that the defense had known about for months.

"The court does confess to a general affability that, at times, seems to belie the importance of the task at hand. Until now, enjoying my work has never seemed to pose a problem," Strickland wrote.

"At its core, defense counsel's motion accuses the undersigned [Strickland] of being a 'self-aggrandizing media hound.' Indeed. The irony is rich," he wrote. "Motion granted."

Casey Anthony, 24, stands accused of murdering her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee Anthony, in 2008. The little girl disappeared in June 2008 and was not reported missing until a month later. Her body was discovered in December of that year less than a mile from the Anthony home. Anthony pleaded not guilty.

Judge Belvin Perry Jr. has been appointed to take over the case from Strickland.
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