Casey Anthony ‘Not Guilty’ of Murdering Two-Year-Old Daughter Caylee
In an incredible reversal of fortune, an Orlando, Florida jury has found Casey Anthony not guilty of murdering her two-year-old daughter Caylee. The 25-year-old had been accused of drugging and suffocating the child, then dumping her body in the woods.
After little more than 10 hours of deliberation, the jury of five men and seven women found Anthony not guilty of first degree murder, aggravated manslaughter and aggravated child abuse. She was convicted of providing false information to law enforcement officials and will be sentenced for that offense Thursday morning.
Had she been found guilty, Anthony could have faced the death penalty.
Anthony appeared visibly delighted and relieved as the ‘not guilty’ verdict was read, smiling as she left the courtroom. Casey Anthony’s parents, however, appeared shocked as the verdict was read and their daughter exchanged hugs with her defense team. They got up and walked out of the room.
Speaking of that defense team, Anthony’s attorney Dorothy Sims said she was “thankful” for the not guilty verdicts. Jose Baez, another of the defendant’s lawyers, while happy for his client’s acquittal, said “there are no winners in this case. Caylee has passed on far, far too soon.” Baez called the case “a perfect example of why the death penalty does not work and why we all need to stop and look and think twice about a country that decides to kill its own citizens. Murder’s not right no matter who does it… If this case gets any attention, it should focus on that issue, that we should stop trying to kill our own people.”
Addressing the media, Anthony attorney Cheney Mason said he hoped the verdict is “a lesson to those of you who have indulged in media assassination for three years.”
The evidence against Anthony was compelling. Computer experts testified that someone searched online for chloroform, which can be used to render someone unconscious, 84 times, as well as for information on breaking necks. Prosecutors alleged that Anthony knocked little Caylee out with chloroform, then taped her mouth and nose closed before dumping her remains in the woods and going on a 31-day party bender. Anthony, by the way, did not tell her parents that Caylee was “missing” for 31 days. She claimed Caylee had been abducted by a nanny who she later admitted did not exist. Her car, which her investigators say smelled like a decomposing body, was pounced on by police cadaver dogs. CSI experts found hair from a decomposing body they believed was Caylee and high levels of chloroform.
In the end, however, the jury determined that there just wasn’t enough evidence to find Anthony guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. A young child is dead, and for Caylee Anthony it appears as if justice will be delayed– if it is ever served.
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