Death penalty sought in toddler's slaying

April 13, 2009 2:49:53 PM PDT
Florida prosecutors plan to seek to the death penalty against Casey Anthony, who is charged with murdering her young daughter whose remains were found in swampy woods months after she was reported missing. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Anthony claimed that Caylee was kidnapped and has pleaded not guilty. Her trial has been tentatively set for October.

Prosecutors filed papers of intent to seek to have Anthony executed if she is convicted of first-degree murder, said Danielle Tavernier, a spokeswoman for the State Attorney's Office in Orlando.

Anthony's legal team already has lawyers who are qualified to defend death penalty cases and are prepared "for a vigorous defense," said Marti Mackenzie, a spokeswoman for Anthony's attorney, Jose Baez.

"This is not a death penalty case," Mackenzie said. "We will do whatever is necessary to defend Casey Anthony from the state trying to take her life."

Anthony was arrested last October, but prosecutors then didn't indicate they would seek the death penalty.

She is accused of killing Caylee, who was 2 when she disappeared in June and whose remains were found in Orlando in December.

Hundreds of volunteers helped search for the toddler after she was reported missing.

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