July 5th, 2011
07:55 PM ET

Jury's verdict: Casey Anthony not guilty of murder

Editor's note: For more on the jury's finding that Casey Anthony is not guilty in daughter Caylee's death read our full story here.

[Updated at 8:20 p.m.] From the moment word came that Casey Anthony was acquitted of murdering her 2-year-old daughter, online networking sites were flooded with a cascade of amateur commentary. A few big names, including Kim Kardashian, joined the fray. Most condemned the verdict - "no justice for Caylee" was a common comment - which comes after years of the case serving as fodder for cable news, tabloids and the like.

[Updated at 7:55 p.m.] Mourners of Caylee Anthony want you to turn your porch lights on tonight in honor of the slain 2-year-old.

The Facebook event, "Porch lights on for Caylee Marie Anthony," urges people "all over the world" to start participating at "9 pm in your own time zone."

Already, 546,610 have said they're attending, and some say their lights are already on.


[Updated at 7:20 p.m.] Alternate juror Russell Huekler said he agrees with the jury's verdict "wholeheartedly" and surmised that Caylee Anthony's death was a "horrific accident" gone awry.

"The prosecution did not prove their case," said Huekler, who sat through the entire case but did not get to deliberate the charges.

Prosecutors failed to answer the question of how Caylee died, he said.

From the testimony, Huekler said he drew the conclusion that "it was probably a horrific accident" that Anthony and her father, George Anthony, covered up.

"Unfortunately it did snowball and got away from them," Huekler said. "It was such a horrific accident that they didn't know how to deal with it. The family appeared to be very dysufintional and instead of admitting there was an accident, they chose to hide it, for whatever reason."


[Updated at 5:08 p.m.] Attorney Mark Lippman issued a statement on behalf of Lee, George and Cindy Anthony:

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.


[Updated at 4:10 p.m.] Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings issues a plea for restraint after Casey Anthony is acquitted of murder.

"As the verdict has been rendered we ask our community to respect the decision the jury and court have made today. We ask for your continued peaceful acknowledgement of that verdict.


[Updated at 3:47 p.m.] The delay in recovering Caylee Anthony's remains worked to the "considerable disadvantage" to the prosecution's efforts to prove Casey Anthony's guilt, Ninth Judicial Circuit State Attorney Lawson Lamar said.

With no "smoking gun" and a victim who was "reduced by time and the elements to skeletal remains," made the case all the more the more difficult to prove, he said. Nonetheless, he said, police and prosecutors did their job - and so did the jury.

"I never, ever criticize a jury; theirs is a task of deciding what to believe," he said. "We're disappointed with the verdict today and surprised because we know the facts and we put in absolutely every single piece of evidence that existed."

He said his staff would return to the task of addressing the 101,00 cases that come to his office each year, including a handful of open child murder cases.

"Child murders, regrettably and terribly, are not rare in America today and those deaths are no less horrible," he said. "The only difference is the news has not highlighted their murders."

He also praised his staff for not talking about the case outside of the courtroom, saying the rush to convict Casey Anthony in the news "led to the great expense" of having to seek a jury "outside the media market."

"So much of the angst and taxpayer expense could've been avoided if others had not succumbed to the temptation provided by quick notoriety," Lawson said.

"For us the case has never been about the defendant in particular. It has always been about seeking justice for Caylee and speaking on her behalf."


[Updated at 3:14 p.m.] Members of the jury in the Casey Anthony case have said they are not interested in speaking with members about the case or the verdict, a court spokeswoman said.

[Updated at 3:10 p.m.] We are waiting on an expected news conference from the jurors in the Casey Anthony trial.

A room has been set up for them to address the media, but none are required to actually say anything if they do not want to.


[Updated at 2:50 p.m.] Defense Attorney Jose Baez said he had mixed emotions about the case and that he had to work hard against media bias that existed during the search for Caylee and the case against Casey Anthony.

"You cannot convict someone until they have their day in court," he said.

Baez said he was happy for Casey Anthony and the decision made by the jury. Now he hopes Casey Anthony can move on.

"I want her to grieve and to grow and somehow get her life back together," he said.

Baez said the case was a true example of a jury doing what they are supposed to - finding their verdict based on evidence and not emotion.

"We have the greatest constitution in the world and if the media and other members of the public don’t respect it, it will become meaningless," he said. "And today and yesterday on the Fourth of July,  there was a breath of life."

Baez said he is thrilled that when he goes home today and his daughter asks what he did today he can say - "I saved a life."

"I think this case is a perfect example for why the death penalty does not work... " Baez added. "Murder is not right no matter who does it."

[Updated at 2:45 p.m.] Dorothy Clay Sims speaking first for the defense team addressed the media.

"I am thankful for today's verdict on behalf of Casey Anthony," she said.

Defense Attorney Cheney Mason also addressed the media, angrily scolding them for their coverage of the case.

"I hope that this is a lesson to those who have indulged in media assassination for three years," he said.

Defense Attorney Jose Baez added that "while we're happy for Casey there are no winners in this case."

"Caylee has passed on far, far too soon, and what my driving force has been for the past three years is to make sure there has been justice for Caylee and Casey," he said. "Casey did not murder Caylee, it's that simple. And today our system of justice has not dishonored her memory by a false conviction."

[Updated at 2:34 p.m.] A room is being prepared for the jury to take questions from the media about their verdict.


iReport: What's your reaction to the verdict

[Updated at 2:31 p.m.] For the first time a wide smile came across Casey Anthony's face. She began to smile and laugh as her team surrounded her and congratulated her on being found not guilty of murdering her daughter.

[Updated at 2:29 p.m.] Casey Anthony took tissues from a court bailiff and wiped her face at the back of the courtroom.

[Updated at 2:26 p.m.] Casey Anthony embraced her attorney Jose Baez and the rest of her legal team before sobbing.

Anthony wiped tears from her eyes as her team of lawyers hugged each other.

[Updated at 2:24 p.m.] Casey Anthony wiped tears from her eyes and clutched her attorneys' hands as the judge addressed the courtroom.

[Updated at 2:23 p.m.] Casey Anthony returned to the courtroom after briefly leaving with a slight smile on her face.

The judge set sentencing for Thursday at 9 a.m.

[Updated at 2:22 p.m.] Casey Anthony has left the courtroom. Her parents also quickly left the courtroom after the verdict was read.

[Updated at 2:22 p.m.] Judge Belvin Perry confirms the jury's verdict.

[Updated at 2:20 p.m.] Casey Anthony cried as she hugged her defense attorney Jose Baez before she approached a podium to be addressed by the judge.


[Updated at 2:20 p.m.] A poll of the jurors showed they all agreed on the verdict for every count.

[Updated at 2:20 p.m.] Casey Anthony has been found guilty of four counts of providing false information to law enforcement in the case of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee, who was slain in 2008.

[Updated at 2:19 p.m.] Casey Anthony is sobbing in court as the verdict is being read.

[Updated at 2:17 p.m.]  Casey Anthony has been found not guilty of first-degree murder in the 2008 death of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee. She was also found not guilty of aggravated child abuse and aggravated manslaughter.

[Updated at 2:16 p.m.] Judge Belvin Perry is reading over the verdict form filled out by the jury.

[Updated at 2:15 p.m.] The jury has entered the courtroom.

[Updated at 2:15 p.m.] Members inside the courtroom have stood up as Judge Belvin Perry prepares to bring in the jury.

[Updated at 2:11 p.m.] George Anthony is sitting with his eyes closed and his hands clasped next to his wife Cindy inside the courtroom as they await to hear their daughter's fate.

[Updated at 2:04 p.m.] Casey Anthony, flanked by her lawyers, is sitting silently, biting her lip and taking deep breaths as she awaits the jury's verdict.

[Updated at 2:02 p.m.] Casey Anthony has just entered the courtroom and was met by two of her lawyers. She is wearing a pink ruffled shirt, her hair was pulled back in a ponytail and she was biting her nails.

[Updated at 1:57 p.m.] Jose Baez, one of Casey Anthony's lawyers, has just arrived at the courthouse in Orlando, Florida, In Session reports.


[Updated at 1:52 p.m.] The jury deliberated for 10 hours, 40 minutes and 33 seconds before reaching a verdict in the Casey Anthony trial, which included 33 days of testimony and two days of closing arguments, according to CNN sister network HLN.

[Updated at 1:45 p.m.] The jury has reached a verdict in the Casey Anthony capital murder trial, according to staff at the Orange County, Florida, courthouse.

The verdict, reached by the seven-woman, five-man jury, will cap a trial that stretched to more than six weeks and featured allegations of sexual abuse, questions regarding Casey Anthony's competence and various theories on what happened to 2-year-old Caylee.

The verdict is scheduled to be read at 2:15 p.m ET.

Casey Anthony, 25, was charged with seven counts - first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter of a child and four counts of providing false information to a law-enforcement officer in Caylee's 2008 disappearance and death.

Read what each charge means

Watch Nancy Grace Monday through Sunday starting at 8 p.m. ET on HLN. For the latest from Nancy Grace click here.

soundoff (7,331 Responses)
  1. Rose

    I believe that she killed her daughter on the evidence.
    I did not watch the trial, however, I did watch the whole OJ Trial. In fact, I taped it, If anyone would like to make me an offer for my tapes please e-mail me at rosemarieann@verizon.net that is if I am permitted to offer this.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tara

    You know, I don't feel that the prosecution failed to do their job, the jury failed to hear the evidence that was presented and heard only what the defense wanted them to hear. Fact 1- She put her baby in the trunk of the car; she did that, period. Fact 2- It was proven through samples for DNA that the baby was given something to make her sleep, but even without that, who puts a baby in the car. Thank in and of itself should have landed her in prison. Fact 3- It was proven that her decomposed body was in that car, the DNA proved it. Fact 4- She told people that the nanny ( where did she have the money for that) or babysitter took her baby; kidnapped her but yet never said anything for 31 days. Fact 5- Her baby is missing for 31 days and no one is going to be wondering about that, the grandparents didn't wonder before 31 days, if it was my kid, I would wonder in 30 minutes or less. Fact 6- She admitted that she lied, she was caught in lies, why would you lie if you didn't do anything. Yes some innocent people have been convicted for crimes they did not commit, some; a relative few compared to the many convicted honestly and they did do it. So not telling the truth because you are scared you will be falsely convicted is just crazy and complete cop-out. Fact 7- She was out partying when supposedly she was scared for her daughter's life because the girl had been kidnapped, um, yeah partying doesn't make you guilty your reaction to a situation does. Fact 8- The defense was able to through a wrench and get the jury's attention onto something else just like in the OJ Simpson trial and that is all it took. That is there job. It doesn't matter if they are guilty they just want to get them off by any means necessary. They are not held to the same standards as the prosecution. I totally feel that in a murder case the defendant she be made to get on the stand. They should not have the option to not speak. If OJ and Casey were both put on the stand, they would not have walked. The truth would have come out and justice would have won; however, they did not have to. The defense knew if she got on the stand she would fry herself so they kept her off the stand and in my opinion that is wrong. The defendant should be made to tell their side of the situation to a jury of their peers and not through depositions or second & third hand information. I feel that America has just showed how ignorant we can be. I don't know why people brought up the race thing in these blogs but that is just as ignorant and the verdict. I know that eventually those involved will have to answer to god, but you know, it doesn't give that baby the justice she deserves. Children look to their parents to protect themk, to love them, to cherish them and that little girl trusted her mother, lover her mother and smiled at her mother while her mother killed her. How, how can we continue to let this happen? At what point will we make others realize that there are consequences for your actions when it comes to children? How many more children have to die by their mothers' hands before we get it together and make sure it is not so easy for them to get off? I don't understand and it makes me so sad to see that little girl's face and know how scared she had to be in a trunk feeling sick, begging for her mother. People remember what this is about; what this has just told so many other people who have either done this type of thing or are thinking about it. Think about the children and let us change the laws and make it stop.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • wrong verdict

      Tara i so agree with you...in every word you said i agree 100% ..what more evidence did they needed ?

      July 5, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. MagMuva

    Go play the lottery, B!T*H, cuz you just got away with murder.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Todd West

      She sold her soul to the Devil, I am sure a lottery winning wasn't part of the deal she got, but hey, who knows?

      July 5, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mandyk

    I am sick to my stomach! An accident my A$$!!! Why would you ever cover up an accident?! Did the jury sleep though the entire trial? What about justice for that little girl? She caused the death of that poor little baby!! She may not face punishment in this life but she will in the next!!

    July 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sly Stone

      The Jury isn't privy to what we hear and see in public. Do I believe she is guilty? Yes, but it doesn't matter because I nor you were on the jury. Keep in mind the media influences those on the outside (you and I). But a jury is not suppose to be exposed, thus they render a verdict based solely on the evidence. Be mad at the Prosecution for not proving her guilty in the eyes of the jury.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. boycottcompnaies


    July 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. kansas

    casey better go into hiding when she is released. too many people will be after her.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Todd West

      yup, and since the "people" have spoken, the police will have to protect her, since per law "justice" was done. Sad, for not only the little girl but also for the USA, sad, pitiful, and evil.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Miriam J. Ramirez

    I believe all the lying by the whole family was a strategy... I don't think George Anthony will be mad a Casey for saying he abused her, Cindy will not be mad at George for the mistress, etc. I think it was all orchestrated by Baez to create the confusion and doubt.
    You'll see them all together again and selling their stories. They are not like the rest of us.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doubtful

      This Anthony family is like no family....liars through and through....May someone help them....

      July 5, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Darnell Parker

    There was not DOUBT THAT DOUBT WAS CREATED IN THIS CASE and the Law states BEYOND A REASONABLE Doubt ,you must be found NOT GUILTY, and the defense created doubt there fore the jurors did there job dont get mad at them they obeyed the law, so if your angry be angry at the LAW. I myself wanted her to be found Guilty BUT the law is the law and they made the right decision.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      There's ALWAYS a doubt, but that doesn't make it reasonbable!

      July 5, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. alwyzbz

    While she faces misdomeanor charges for the death of her little girl, Cindy will probably be spending longer jail time for perjury. Just unreal.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. laresa

    yes i am sick with this verdict, but sometimes you have to think outside the box. she is the last person with her child and the child ends up dead. come on screw the legal system sometimes, you have to have common sense and i know that is not a prerequisite to be a juror. i am in the thought process now i can just go kill someone and just party and lie, have a corpse smelling in my car and i will go on down to florida and be acquitted. i wish the hell she had been in texas

    July 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doubtful

      There is NO common sense in Florida....May those jurors face their creator and their blame....that child did not have a chance ever....have no doubt Casey will end up getting her just due.....I am just stunned at this group of idiots, just who do they think went to Florida, killed Caylee, put her in a trash bag and threw her out like trash and reported it thirty one days later...oooh but I guess it was okay cause Mommie Dearest put a sticker on her forehead....

      July 5, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bob

    This is what happens when you have an unreasonable defintion of what reasonable doubt means. The defense's job is to freak out the jury with all this hairsplitting over minutiae so that the jury will lose track of what's right before their eyes. The jury will then get freaked out about "reasonable doubt" and acquit the defendant. The jury fell for it.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Arnold Swartzenheizer

    This is what happens when men pretend they can do God's job better than him. 12 morons putting all their brain power together have failed to at the very least get a neglect conviction. Way to go everybody with your false prophets and your inflated ego. The system is set up to let people get away with crimes. Yay humanity!

    July 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Capt George

    I need a babysitter for my 3 y/0 tonight....any know how to get in touch with Casey? I would feel very confortable having her watch my child now that she has been declared "NOT GUILTY"

    July 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • caseyishot

      I'm looking for a rub and tug... let me know if you find her number.

      July 5, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sarah

    I can understand "Not guilty" regarding murder but Child abuse????!!!!! Caylee was missing for 31 days and that can't be disputed and the prosecution proved that beyond a reasonable doubt and this jury came back with "Not guilty"?!! They wanted out. They wanted to go home. They asked no questions, no read backs and so on. Not wanting to show their face on TV only goes to show that they are guilty and couldn't care less about justice for Caylee.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. johnjohninla

    Today the american public hold it's head in shame.
    The conduct of the american people is now on trial going forward.
    The american public reared it's ugly head once again.
    The so called innocent until found guilty was thrown out the door BEFORE the trial began.

    The jurors did the right thing. They are to be commented for their responsibility carried out.

    americans are an ugly group of people. Nothing more needs to be said.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
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