Against the Odds
J. CHENEY MASON WASN’T LOOKING TO
REPRESENT ARGUABLY THE MOST REVILED
WOMAN IN THE U.S., BUT ONCE ON CASEY
ANTHONY’S CASE, HE WOULDN’T BACK DOWN
BY G.K. SHARMAN
PHOTOGRAPHY BY SCOTT COOK
THE CROWDS WOULD GATHER EVERY DAY, OFTEN BEFORE
dawn, cups of coffee or bottles of energy drinks in their hands. The
mood was quiet, for the most part—at least early on. The media
were there too: a virtual village of satellite vans and microphones
and personalities with perfectly coiffed hair.
As sunrise chased the shadows from the Orange County
Courthouse, the volume rose. Reporters checked their notes;
photographers got into position. Then a door would open in
the Bank of America tower across the street and all hell would
“It was like running a gauntlet every day,” says attorney J.
Cheney Mason. “We practically needed a SWAT team to get to
work. The only things they didn’t have were torches and pitchforks.”
The target of the animosity was his client, Casey Anthony,
possibly the most reviled woman on the planet.
A vocal contingent of trial followers considered Anthony evil
personified—a mother who seemed not to grieve for her missing
child. They labeled her a hard-drinking, tattooed party girl
who didn’t report 2-year-old Caylee missing for a month; who
allegedly used chloroform and duct tape to kill her baby and
dumped her body in the woods, then smirked her way through
Orange-Osceola Assistant State Attorney Jeff Ashton considered
Casey the most skilled liar he’d ever seen.
J. CHENEY MASON
· FOUNDER, J. CHENEY MASON, P.A.
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