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Violence erupts outside Casey Anthony trial

NBC's Kerry Sanders reports from Orlando, Florida where spectators started fighting while waiting in line this morning for seats in the Casey Anthony murder trial.

 

By Kerry Sanders, NBC News Correspondent

ORLANDO, Fla – It's come to fisticuffs.

The spectators who line up each day for seats in the Casey Anthony courtroom turned on each other early Friday.

Fists were thrown and there was scratching and a lot of screaming as more than 100 people jockeyed for position in line.

Each day there are between 50 and 62 seats for the public to enter the courtroom on the 23rd floor at the Orange County Courthouse.

Daily, the court administration hands out tickets.

'Running of the bulls'
In the 21 days this trial has been under way, the scene has become increasingly uglier.

Some call it "the running of the bulls" because no one is allowed on the court property to line up until 5:30 a.m.

In an admirable display of self-regulation, a few days ago those in line began writing numbers on the back of their hands with a Sharpie marker.

That seemingly eliminated the need for the "running of the bulls."

Defense attorneys for Casey Anthony begin laying out their case in her murder trial. NBC's Jay Gray reports.

But Friday morning, several folks decided that self-regulation system was "illegal."

Pushing and shoving was followed by punching and screaming.

Orlando police responded. Several of those in line were pulled out.

If it all sounds like those scenes from a bargain basement sale on Black Friday remember: this is a murder trial.

It just takes a quick trip to the 23rd floor here to remember: Two-year-old Caylee Anthony is dead. If convicted of first-degree murder, her 25-year-old mother Casey Anthony could be sentenced to death.

This trial has turned into yet another reality show.

And outside, there's a shameful circus.

For many, a deadly serious murder trial has become captivating reality TV. NBC's Kerry Sanders reports.