Casey Anthony Found Not Guilty Of Murder, Child Abuse, Manslaughter

11:57 PM, Jul 5, 2011   |    comments
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Orlando, FL -- The jury reached a verdict in the murder trial of Casey Anthony, who is accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee.

Anthony was found not guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and aggravated manslaughter of a child.

Anthony began crying when the jury's verdict was read Tuesday after more than 10 hours of deliberations. She hugged her attorney afterward, and a prosecutor shook his head in disbelief. She could have received a death sentence if she had been convicted of first-degree murder.

The Florida jury deliberated for more than 10 hours.

She was found guilty of four counts of providing false information to a law enforcement officer. Judge Belvin Perry will sentence her Thursday. She could receive up to a year in jail for each count. Her time in jail waiting for the murder trial will likely be considered in the sentencing.

Caylee disappeared in June 2008 and her body was found in woods near her grandparent's home six months later.

Jurors Not Talking

The jurors who found Casey Anthony not guilty of killing her 2-year-old daughter have told court officials that they do not want to talk to the media at this time.

Court officials told the media Tuesday that the jurors are asking for the media to respect their privacy and don't want to make any comments at the courthouse. The group of seven women and five men were brought in from the Tampa Bay area and sequestered for the entire trial that started in mid-May.

They reached their verdict after less than 11 hours of deliberation over two days.

Prosecutor: Anthony case was difficult to prove

Orlando's chief prosecutor says his attorneys are disappointed with the verdict in the Casey Antony murder trial but they presented every piece of evidence that existed.

State attorney Lawson Lamar said Tuesday after Anthony was found not guilty of killing her 2-year-old daughter that the case was very difficult to prove. Lamar also said the delay in recovering Caylee Anthony's remains was a considerable disadvantage.

Caylee was reported missing in July 2008 and her bones were found about six months later.

The prosecutors who presented the case before the jury did not talk to the media at Lamar's news conference.

Lamar and the Orange County sheriff also urged the public to respect the jury's decision and maintain a peaceful resolve.

Defense attorney: 'no winners' in Anthony verdict

The lead defense attorney for Casey Anthony says he is happy that his client was found not guilty of killing her toddler daughter, but that there are no winners in this case.

Attorney Jose Baez said Tuesday that 2-year-old Caylee Anthony died far too soon and that he has mixed feelings about the case. He says he is ecstatic for Casey Anthony and wants her to be able to grieve and grow, and somehow get her life back together.

The jury did convict Casey Anthony on four counts of lying to law enforcement.

Baez also acknowledged prosecutors, calling called them a fine group of attorneys.

The family of Casey Anthony released the following statement Tuesday afternoon, after the verdict was read in Casey's murder trial:

While the family may never know what has happened to Caylee Marie Anthony, they now have closure for this chapter of their life. They will now begin the long process of rebuilding their lives.

Despite the baseless defense chosen by Casey Anthony, the family believes that the Jury made a fair decision based on the evidence presented, the testimony presented, the scientific information presented and the rules that were given to them by the Honorable Judge Perry to guide them.

The family hopes that they will be given the time by the media to reflect on this verdict and decide the best way to move forward privately.

The family also wanted the public to know that if anyone wanted to honor Caylee by leaving stuffed animals or other toys at any area near their home, that they would prefer those items be donated in Caylee's name to families in need, religious centers, or any other entity where the toys would be appreciated.

AP

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