POLK COUNTY, Fla. - One of the two girls accused of bullying 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick before she took her own life, faced a judge today along side her new, high-profile attorney Jose Baez.
The girl was supposed to be arraigned and enter a plea, but the state requested more time to sift through evidence. They will return to court next week.
The young girl looked nervous as she walked past cameras and up to the podium with her parents and new attorney.
Baez told reporters his client feels awful about the death of Rebecca, but insists it's the other young suspect behind most of the hateful messages.
"She is not what her mug shot or what the headlines are portraying her to be," Baez said.
"She is a child and I'm not going to allow her to be bullied and I'm not going to allow the system to bully her."
Baez, who became famous representing Casey Anthony, triggered an epic battle with Sheriff Grady Judd on Friday with his defiant stance that his client is innocent.
"I have not seen anything that rises to the level of any criminal conduct, especially that of a felony," he said.
Just a few hours later, Sheriff Judd called a news conference to fire back.
"Good defense attorneys deny everything, admit nothing, and present counter claims," he said.
The sheriff presented more evidence to support the arrests of both girls accused of tormenting Rebecca online and in person, until she couldn't take it anymore and jumped to her death at an old cement plant last month.
The department released Facebook chat logs of the two suspects after Rebecca's death.
Baez's client, the 12-year-old, wrote, "I feel like Rebecca's dead because of me. If only I could say I'm sorry."
Later she said, "I deserve to die. I wish it was me and not her."
"Mr. Baez, here's my message for you. Get over trying to show she didn't do something she did and start trying to help that child so she's a productive citizen," Judd said.
Baez tried to distance his client away from the other girl. He said the sheriff is dragging his client through the mud.
ABC Action News is not identifying the girls because they're charged as juveniles.
"It's one thing to make an arrest and let the prosecutors and court system work itself out. It's another thing to make an arrest and then go make the rounds. We all need an explanation for that," Baez told reporters.
Sheriff Judd suggested the "flashy attorney from out of town" should get to work and go meet with the state attorney to work out the best deal for his client.
"I'll help him practice law a little bit here if he promises not to have the state attorney arrest me," Judd quipped.
Given the age of the girls and their clean record, Judd admits he expects this case to end in a plea deal.
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