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Casey Anthony Verdict: Not Guilty

Kate Rooney |
July 5, 2011 | 3:10 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

Anthony was acquitted in the murder of her daughter Caylee. (Wikimedia Commons)
Anthony was acquitted in the murder of her daughter Caylee. (Wikimedia Commons)
The trial that captivated a nation came to close Tuesday, when an Orlando jury found that Casey Anthony was not guilty of murdering her two-year old daughter Caylee in 2008.

The jury, which had been sequestered for the trial’s two-month run, acquitted Anthony of three charges: aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter, and first-degree murder in the death of her daughter.

On a fourth charge of providing false information and lying to police, Anthony was found guilty.

“While we’re happy for Casey, there are no winners in this case,” defense attorney Jose Baez told reporters. “Caylee has passed on far, far too soon.”

Anthony will be back in the courtroom on Thursday, to hear Judge Belvin Perry’s sentence for the four counts of lying to police. She could receive up to a year of jail time for each count.

But Perry may decide to count the three years Anthony has spent in jail since being arrested as time served and release her on Thursday, according to ABC News.

Anthony’s parents, George and Cindy, were seen wiping away tears as the verdict was read but left the courtroom without speaking to their daughter.

A portion of the defense’s case rested on the suggestion that George Anthony had sexually abused his daughter, and that he was in fact responsible for Caylee’s accidental death, which he then covered up to avoid blame. George testified that none of these accusations were true.

Cindy took the stand two weeks ago to testify on her daughter’s behalf, saying that she performed searches on their home computer for chloroform, traces of which were found in Casey’s car. The prosecution claimed that Casey used the chemical to subdue Caylee, an assertion which was unconfirmed because no traces of the substance were found on Caylee’s remains.

Caylee’s body was so badly decomposed when it was discovered that a medical examiner was unable to confirm a cause of death, though she did rule it a homocide.

The prosecution used three pieces of duct tape found with the body (matching a brand found in the Anthony home) as evidence that Casey had suffocated her daughter. The medical examiner said this was possible, but that she refused to speculated as the whether this was in fact the method of homocide.

Casey was arrested in June 2008, after it became known that she had waited days to report Caylee missing. Casey claimed that the little girl had been with a nanny during that time, and originally tried to implicate the nanny in her disappearance.

Shortly thereafter, photographs of Casey partying with friends during the time her daughter was missing surfaced, and it was revealed that she had gotten a tattoo reading “beautiful life” in Italian in those same days.

Caylee’s body wasn’t discovered until six months later.

During the televised trial, ratings for the HLN network (on which it aired) skyrocketed to record numbers, prompting numerous comparisons to the infamous O.J. Simpson trial.

Watch a video of the verdict being read:


Reach Kate by email.



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