Casey Anthony acquitted of murder

APTOPIX Casey Anthony Trial
Joe Burbank, Associated Press

Casey Anthony listens to the judge's instructions to the jury in her murder trial at the Orange County Courthouse in Orlando, Fla. on Tuesday, July 5.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Casey Anthony was found not guilty Tuesday of killing her 2-year-old daughter in a case that captivated the nation as it played out on national television from the moment the toddler was reported missing three years ago.

Anthony, 25, wept as the judge read the verdict, which jurors reached after less than 11 hours of deliberation over two days. She was charged with first-degree murder, which could have brought the death penalty if she had been convicted.

Instead, she was convicted of only four counts of lying to investigators looking into the June 2008 disappearance of her daughter Caylee. Her body was found in the woods six months later and a medical examiner was never able to determine how she died.

She will be sentenced by the judge on Thursday and could receive up to a year in jail for each lying count.

Anthony's attorneys claimed that the toddler drowned accidentally in the family swimming pool, and that her seemingly carefree mother in fact was hiding emotional distress caused by sexual abuse from her father.

Prosecutors contended that Caylee was suffocated with duct tape by a mother who loved to party, tattooed herself with the Italian words for "beautiful life" in the month her daughter was missing and crafted elaborate lies to mislead everyone from investigators to her own parents.

Captivated observers camped outside the courthouse to jockey for coveted seats in the courtroom gallery, which occasionally led to fights among those desperate to watch the drama unfold.

Anthony did not take the stand during the trial, which started in mid-May. Because the case got so much media attention in Orlando, jurors were brought in from the Tampa Bay area and sequestered for the entire trial.

Anthony's attorney, Jose Baez, conceded that his client had told elaborate lies and invented imaginary friends and even a fake father for Caylee, but he said that doesn't mean she killed her daughter.

"They throw enough against the wall and see what sticks," Baez said of prosecutors during closing arugments. "That is what they're doing ... right down to the cause of death."

He tried to convince jurors that the toddler accidentally drowned in the family swimming pool and that when Anthony panicked, her father, a former police officer, decided to make the death look like a murder by putting duct tape on the girl's mouth and dumping the body in woods about a quarter-mile away. They said that Anthony's apparent carefree life hid emotional distress caused by sexual abuse from her father. Her father firmly denied both the cover-up and abuse claims. The prosecution called those claims "absurd," saying that no one makes an accident look like a murder.

Lead prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick concluded the state's case by showing the jury two side-by-side images. One showed Casey Anthony smiling and partying in a nightclub during the month Caylee was missing. The other was the tattoo she got a day before her family and law enforcement first learned of the child's disappearance.

"At the end of this case, all you have to ask yourself is whose life was better without Caylee?" Burdick asked. "This is your answer."

Prosecutors hammered on the lies Anthony, then 22, told from June 16, 2008, when her daughter was last seen, and a month later when sheriff's investigators were notified. Those include the single mother telling her parents she couldn't produce Caylee because the girl was with a nanny named Zanny — a woman who doesn't exist; that she and her daughter were spending time in Jacksonville, Fla., with a rich boyfriend who doesn't exist; and that Zanny had been hospitalized after an out-of-town traffic crash and that they were spending time with her.

What do you think of this story?

Login to post comments

In order to make comments, you must create a subscription.

In order to comment on, you must hold a valid subscription allowing access to this website. You must use your real name and include the town in which you live in your profile. To subscribe or link your existing subscription click here.

Login or create an account here.

Our policy prohibits comments that are:

  • Defamatory, abusive, obscene, racist, or otherwise hateful
  • Excessively foul and/or vulgar
  • Inappropriately sexual
  • Baseless personal attacks or otherwise threatening
  • Contain illegal material, or material that infringes on the rights of others
  • Commercial postings attempting to sell a product/item
If you violate this policy, your comment will be removed and your account may be banned from posting comments.



 's picture

Thank God the Jury was able to separate guilty by emotion

FACTS: WE were not there and were not privy to ALL the details.
FACT: To Kill someone with a guilty verdict -BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT is a serious thing and no one ever proved that she killed her, no one proved how she died, There IS REASONABLE DOUBT. So quickly we sit in the director's chair and are willing to send someone to their death because we do not like her behavior. Granted she did lie, she clearly did not act in a way that I approve of, but that does not mean she murdered her child.
It is absolutely terrifying to me that those in the public who do not have the facts, but have been persuaded by the Media, ridiculous "talking heads" who could do nothing but "give their OPINION", It is further terrifying that you all believe this. If you were in her shoes, were depending on our justice system to work. You would feel very differently.

As the alternate juror who WAS THERE said this morning, the prosecution DID NOT PROVE BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT that she murdered her daughter.

Further, if you understand the dynamics in a household where sexual abuse/incest is happening, then you have a sense of perhaps why her behavior is so outrageous, perhaps, I said. Out here in California I find I am not the first person to question why she never said who the father of her child is? Does that not make you wonder? As her fiance just said, she and her mother had a very adversarial relationship from the moment she told them she was pregnant. Just take a breath and THINK about that. Who is the father? Who? Who might be terrified that it would become obvious who the father is?

Just the fact that there is SO MUCH we do not know, is reasonable doubt. It can suck. However, I am grateful that our justice does work this way.

Having been the subject of rumors and lies and media coverage.And some of those outright lies, STILL exist as truth in Lewison Auburn, and they are absolutely NOT TRUE. I KNOW first hand that you can NEVER believe what you see and hear and read at face value. You have no idea what is really going on.
I trust my fellow citizens that I believe had 6 weeks to decide.

It does bother me about Cailee's death, it should bother all of us. But we cannot convict someone because we do not like her or how she acts, that sounds alot like Stalin, Hitler, should I go on???

We live in U.S. afterall. Be grateful that our justice system did work as it was supposed to this time. In this way we are all better. NO one ever said our justice system was perfect.

Proving beyond a reasonable doubt should be a criteria before convicting someone to the death penalty.

Mark Elliott's picture

Unlike the OJ case,

Unlike the OJ case, investigators weren't leaking information. Obviously the jury heard evidence that the rest of us weren't privy to. I can not say if she is guilty or not as I wasn't in the courtroom hearing the case.

Sharon Dudley's picture

Very sickening and sad.

Very sickening and sad.

 's picture

She must've had the same jury

She must've had the same jury as OJ Simpson

Johnny Blaze's picture

Makes me sick!!!! Much like

Makes me sick!!!! Much like our Government our judicial system is a joke!

 's picture

she may have gotten away with it but......

she may have gotten away with killing her kid but when the time comes she will have to answer to god


Stay informed — Get the news delivered for free in your inbox.

I'm interested in ...