Two new attorneys have joined the team that will defend Casey Anthony on charges she killed her 2-year-old daughter in 2008.
One of those attorneys is Ann Finnell, now in private practice in Jacksonville after years as a high-profile profile public defender.
Anthony's lead attorneys, Jose Baez and Cheney Mason, announced the changes at a news conference Tuesday morning.
Anthony has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and has said a baby sitter kidnapped her daughter, Caylee. The toddler's remains were found in December 2008, about six months after the mother said she last saw her alive.
Anthony's trial is scheduled to start in May, and is expected to last about two months.
Finnell was one of 10 longtime criminal defense attorneys who were let go when a new public defender was elected two years ago.
In a phone interview Tuesday, Finnell said she is very excited about being involved in the case. She said she knows there are going to be a lot of eyes on the case.
"Certainly, I had a lot of death penalty experience," said Finnell, who will handle the defense if it comes to the death penalty.
She became nationally known as part of the team that defended a teenager falsely accused of killing a Georgia tourist at a Jacksonville motel. The story of Brenton Butler's arrest, trial and exoneration were the subject of an HBO documentary that won an Academy Award.
"That was not a death penalty case, however, and so I can't rely on that experience in assisting Miss Anthony," Finnell said. "I just think it's part of the overall package. I have been involved in death penalty cases for years."
Now in private practice, Finnell has taken on several high-profile cases, including defending the Tyrone Hartsfield, who was convicted of shooting Jaguars player Richard Collier.
"Ann Finnell gratefully accepted my arm twisting. She's an incredibly impressive lawyer. Her experience is second to none," Mason said. "You'd be hard-pressed to find a lawyer with more death penalty experience in the state of Florida."
The fact that Finnell is from Jacksonville is also regarded as a plus for the defense team.
"Regarded by lawyers around the country, Florida is probably the toughest jurisdiction in criminal cases," Mason said. "The toughest in Florida is pretty well regarded to be Jacksonville."
The other new person on Anthony's defense team is Dorothy Clay-Sims, who will handle the forensic and scientific aspects of the trial. She said she was aware of the "circus atmosphere" surrounding the Anthony case, but said that she hasn't had a television since the early 1980s and just heard about Nancy Grace when she joined this defense team, so she hasn't seen the coverage.
Both Finnell and Clay-Sims are working on the case pro bono -- without pay.
"To me, it's a dream team opportunity be part of," Mason said. "This is talent you can't buy."