Casey Anthony, who was accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee back in 2008, was found NOT GUILTY on charges of first degree murder, manslaughter and aggravated child abuse after a jury delivered their verdict Tuesday (Jul 5) in Orange County, Florida.
The 25-year-old failed to report Caylee as being missing to law enforcement until 31 days after she went missing.
If the jury had found her guilty of murder … Casey could have received the death penalty. And although she was cleared of the most serious charges … Casey was found guilty of four counts of lying to police and faces a prison sentence of up to 4 years.
Read more below:
Casey Anthony was acquitted in the death of her daughter, Caylee, because prosecutors couldn’t prove whether a murder took place, an alternate juror said.
On Tuesday, the panel of 12 Floridians returned three verdicts of not guilty on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated manslaughter and aggravated child abuse in the nearly three-year-old case against the 25-year-old mother.
“They didn’t show us how Caylee died, and that was important,” Russell Huekler, an alternate juror, said of the prosecution. “No one could answer that.”
After the trial, in which Anthony’s defense team alleged that her father, George Anthony, attempted to cover up Caylee’s death, Huekler called the Anthony family “dysfunctional,” “48 Hours Mystery” correspondent Troy Roberts reports.
“The family knows a lot more than what came out at the trial,” Huekler said.
Jennifer Barringer, a consultant for Casey Anthony’s defense team, told “Early Show” co-anchors Erica Hill and Chris Wragge that she was confident the state’s attorneys wouldn’t be able to link Caylee’s death to her mother.
“I knew that they wouldn’t be able to actually link her, but I was a little concerned that maybe a jury would not apply the law as properly as this jury had,” she said. “Oftentimes it’s a very emotional case and of course a tragedy, so if they became emotional. There’s just no way to know which way they would go in this case.”
Former prosecutor Vinnie Politan, who works for CNN’s HLN channel, said the defense team successfully applied reasonable doubt to the prosecution’s mountain of circumstantial evidence against Anthony.
“This jury found it reasonable to believe that a grandfather would see his granddaughter drown in an innocent manner, with no criminal liability, take that innocent accident, cover it up to frame his own daughter for first-degree murder and watch her have to battle a potential death penalty,” he told Hill and Wragge. “They found it reasonable, so, under our system, she’s not guilty.”
Barringer told Hill and Wragge that the jury wanted to know if a crime was committed before they would consider specifics from the case, such as why Caylee’s body was found with her mouth taped shut or why prosecutors said Anthony did Internet searches for ways to make chloroform.
“The problem that the state had was that you don’t have a jury looking for a murderer if you can’t prove murder to begin with,” she said. “We don’t know what the jury hung on … If we’re all talking about chloroform, the tape, all these other things that were so salacious but I imagine the jury didn’t even get to discuss those because they couldn’t get to murder. If you can’t get there, you’re not looking for a murderer.”