One of the young suspects charged in a high-profile cyberbullying case appeared in a Polk County court Friday, but most of the legal sparring took place outside -- in the court of public opinion.
Jose Baez, who became a household name defending Casey Anthony, is representing a 12-year-old charged in connection with the suicide of Rebecca Sedwick.
Both Baez and Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd held news conferences Friday.
"I think my client is just as much a victim in this case as she is a defendant," Baez told reporters. "Why is this child being thrust into the spotlight? Why is this child having to go to court with cameras following her? Why is the sheriff of the county stuffing her mug shot in front of all of the cameras?" said Baez.
Grady Judd held his own news conference and answered the charges with charges of his own.
"Mr. Baez, here's my message for you," Judd said. "Get over trying to show she didn't do something that she did and start trying to help that child so she's a productive citizen."
The girls are due back in court on Tuesday of next week. Investigators say they bullied Rebecca, which led her to kill herself. The girls attended Crystal Lake Middle School in Polk County.
FOX 13 is not naming the 12-year-old or the 14-year-old suspects because of their ages.
The sheriff says he'll leave it up to others to decide who's telling the truth.
"I guess the viewers and the readers will have to make that decision," offered Judd.
The girl's pretrial hearing, meanwhile, was delayed until Tuesday.