Defense attorney Jose Baez defended Casey Anthony when she went on trial for her daughter’s murder. Not since Johnny Cochran during the O.J. Simpson trial has such a legal tap-dance been seen. The performance, orchestrated and executed by Baez, was brilliant.
It all started in 2008, when three-year-old Caylee Marie Anthony was reported missing by her concerned grandmother. Anthony, a single mother, said Caylee was taken a month earlier by a baby sitter. After an investigation was launched, it became clear that Anthony’s story about the babysitter was false. Caylee’s remains were found and Anthony was charged with her murder.
At first, Anthony denied having anything to do with Caylee’s death or disappearance. On the opening day of the trial, however, Baez turned the case on its head by saying Caylee accidentally drowned by in a swimming pool, and that Anthony—in a panic—buried her. He also painted Anthony as a victim of abuse by her father, George Anthony, who he claimed was involved with the child’s death and burial.
Anthony was acquitted, effectively escaping the death penalty. She’s now repaying Baez by stiffing him on his hefty legal bill.
Anthony owed Baez more than $400,000 in legal fees. The now 30-year-old woman had racked up nearly 800,000 in debt, most of it in legal fees. She also owed the Orange County Sheriff’s office $145,660 after being found guilty of four counts of providing false information to law enforcement officers.
Despite losing out on a hefty payment, Baez is not suffering. The high-profile case has made him a high-profile defense attorney. He also published a tell-all book about his experience with the Anthony trial.
In April, private investigator Dominic Casey alleged that Baez told him Anthony had confessed to killing Caylee. He also says Anthony told him she was involved in a sexual relationship with Baez. According to Casey, Anthony confided in him that ‘she had to do what Jose said because she had no money for her defense.’
Baez denies these allegations, but it sounds like he has been paid in more ways than one off this case. He’ll learn to live with the loss of the $400,000, no doubt.