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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Casey Anthony found not guilty

An emotional Casey Anthony with her attorneys after being acquitted of murder charges at the Orange County Courthouse in Orlando, Fla., on Tuesday.
An emotional Casey Anthony with her attorneys after being acquitted of murder charges at the Orange County Courthouse in Orlando, Fla., on Tuesday.

ORLANDO, Fla. — After deliberating for less than 11 hours over two days, a jury decided Tuesday afternoon that prosecutors did not prove Casey Anthony was guilty of capital murder in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee Marie.

After the courtroom was cleared, a beaming Jose Baez, Casey Anthony’s defense attorney, said, “”While we are happy for Casey, there are no winners in this case.””

He said Caylee died much too young, but added: “”Casey did not murder Caylee; it’s just that simple.””

As soon as the verdicts were read, Casey Anthony embraced Baez in the silent courtroom. The prosecutors in the case, Jeff Ashton and Linda Drane Burdick, looked somber.

Her parents, George and Cindy Anthony, walked out of the courtroom while Casey Anthony was being fingerprinted.

The verdict means 25-year-old Casey Anthony was found not guilty of all charges except for four counts of providing false information to law enforcement officer.

As soon as the jury left the courtroom, Casey Anthony tightly hugged Baez, and then the rest of her defense team. All of them appeared to be crying.

In a news conference after the verdict, defense attorney Cheney Mason lashed out at the media and at the legal pundits who have been following the case for three years.

“”I hope that this is a lesson to those of you that have indulged in media assassination the last three years,”” said Mason. He expressed anger at some of his fellow attorneys commenting on the case and criticizing the defense. He expressed appreciation for the jury.

The jury’s verdicts represent a stunning victory for the defense and especially Baez, who came from relative obscurity to become perhaps the most recognized criminal defense attorney in the world.

“”You cannot convict someone until they’ve had their day in court,”” Baez said.

He credited the prosecution and said all three prosecutors “”serve the state of Florida very well.””

Casey Anthony will be sentenced Thursday at 9 a.m. She faces a maximum of four years in prison — one for each of the four counts of providing false information to law enforcement.

But that means she could be released from jail as soon as Thursday, if she is given less than the maximum charge and credit for time served.

Casey Anthony’s case has captivated the nation since July 2008, when Caylee was reported missing. When Casey Anthony’s trial began May 24 in Orange County, the proceedings attracted court watchers from around the world.

Caylee was reported missing July 15, 2008, by her grandmother, Cindy Anthony.

It wasn’t long after Casey Anthony’s initial arrest on a child neglect charge that detectives publicly acknowledged Caylee may be dead and her mother may be involved.

Evidence began to mount against Casey Anthony. Cadaver dogs hit on the trunk of her Pontiac Sunfire and the family’s backyard. The car reeked. Air samples taken from the trunk showed signs of decomposition and elevated levels of chloroform. A hair sample taken from inside the trunk of the car showed signs of post-mortem root banding — meaning the hair had come from the head of a dead person.

In October 2008, a grand jury indicted Anthony on the seven charges, including murder.

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