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. mjL

    I agree completely with the jury's verdict. There was no proof Casey killed Caylee. The jury had reasonable doubt therefore could not convict. Shows our justice system works exactly how it was set up. As a juror you cannot be biased or bring any of your personal views into play. Emotion does not belong in a jury box. Many people have been wrongly convicted because of what he or she felt was right, not off the facts and evidence. I agree there was something shady going on but simply not enough evidence was shown to convict her of the 1st 3 charges. The prosection should have seen this coming and went for a leser charge from the get go.

    July 5, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • m

      I think also that they purposly didn't get people from that area because they would of been emotionally involved....now some of the very people who said she would be found guilty is now changing their story. Nancy better be careful that she's not slandering this girl.

      July 5, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Shawna

    I have been a fan of yours because u have HUGE heart and compassion for everyone u air on T.V
    I'm soooo discouraged by our justice system today.. I don't even know what to say.. (though I'm sure Casey would). That justice has not pre-vailed in this cars as most of us know and believe. I can only hope that for Caylee Marie that we as American citizens do not allow the wrong people of America to make $$$$ of of her death,.. And especially Casey Anthony, I will not call her Caylee's mother! I want to believe in our justice system however, I am seriously doubting in now.
    I would like to say to ALL JURORS and to all PAYING media, and to ALL ect involved... Will you be willing to turn over all of your financial gains from this case to a non profit orginization in Caylee's name or for
    for missing or exploited-children.; Or will they reap the benefits from this multi- media case for themselves???
    Please remember there was a little girl thrown out lime garbage in Orlando, Florida and a mother who partied, lied and denied she existed!!

    LinkReport this comment

    July 5, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • m

      unfornately the media is going to buy it and Casey will get paid for it....people do it all the time....people will buy the product and the media will make money too.....they had no case...

      July 5, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jessica McBride

    I find it hard to believe that an accident happened and it was covered up and made to look like a murder. Just mind boggling that a 2 1/2 yr old child can go missing for 31 days, and the mother NEVER report it, if it hadn't been for the grandmother...I guess nobody would have reported it to this day. What a shame our society has become. A child left in the woods to decompose inside a garbage bag, while her mother enters "hot body" contests and gets tattoos.

    July 5, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  4. popeye

    I suppose Caylee killed her self and its not the motherly thing to keep track of your child ! 31 days that's a long time for a child to be missing ! She should have been Hung by the neck in the streets for all to see and serve as an example for all the other sick o's !

    July 5, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |


    July 5, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. unretired05

    The jurors just wanted to go home. One stubborn unchangeable vote for acquittal and 11 that were just sick of it and wanted to go home.

    July 5, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • m

      I don't think that's true...10 hrs 40 min and 33 seconds they ponder this case...there was not enough evidence to convict

      July 5, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • 13thJurer


      Boy, I am glad you were the fly on the wall!! And I very glad you were not on that jury! You cannot legally find some one guilty on supposition, hope, and emotion!! Where's the BEEF??

      The Defense showed that Casey began to lie and lie in 2006. Well, Caylee was born in 2006, and we have to ask if her lying was the result of postpartum depression and disconnect. As we see in the Andrea Yates case, postpartum issues can be severe and almost permanent if left untreated.

      People with schizophrenia usually create other personalities for themselves. In this case, is it possible that Casey created her "invisible friends" as a similar mental disconnect??? No one really did any investigation in to her mental health regarding all these lies which she obviously believed we real for YEARS. This wasn't just something she invented in June of 2008 - these "people" lived and worked with her for years since Caylee was born!!

      We will never know the whole truth in this case, but we must remember Caylee in our hearts. I really wish we had more information about her life long before her death! So many say she is guilty, but the prosecution could not, and did not prove this. Where did the so-called chloroform in her car come from? There was no evidence that she bought or made any chloroform!! Chloroform smells sweet when first sniffed, but that smell goes away within hours of exposure to air! NO one like Casey would be allowed to purchase it, and no one she knows would have access either.

      My daughter is a Virologist with a PhD, and she told me that if there had been DNA on the duct tape, they would have found it, especially on the sticky side. And that DNA could remain on there for many years, despite the weathering conditions. And the same for fingerprints.

      I understand that the parent in us says this mother is responsible, but we cannot hold her on first degree murder without 6 eye witnesses and a video tape!! It's a shame that the prosecution hung this on such a difficult legal charge to prove, but I, too, would have had to find her "not guilty" based on the lack of evidence in this case.

      She will live with this the rest of her life - but she is mentally ill and needs immediate intervention!! These "invisible people" are certain evidence of her disconnection from reality!! I pray for all the Anthony family.

      July 5, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. RN

    It is a scary world we live in. I would hate to be a juror in this case...but if i were...we would probably still be there.

    July 5, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ZzyzX

    Nancy Grace has had her over-dramatic lips flapping for 3 years about this case and it's time she shuts up... or is she going to continue to show everyone exactly how BIASED she is by continuing to foam at the mouth / eat crow? I certainly hope that she and others like her listened carefully to (Anthony) Defense Attorney, Cheney Mason: "I hope that this is a lesson to those of you who (have) indulged in media assassination for three years". BRAVO, and WELL SAID !!!

    July 5, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |

      Lip flapper for sure

      July 5, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • m

      I knew they didn't have a case...but people love gossip and pain...it was easier for them to blame than to get the facts..

      July 5, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |

    How can Nancy sit there and belittle the defense for having a gathering at a restaurant after working very hard for three years. They have every right to blow off some steam after this trial. They did their job and they did their job well. She just cant stand the fact that they proved her wrong. Nancy get over it. Learn how to except the facts that were blattenly obvious in this case.

    July 5, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • ZzyzX

      Nancy is a biased, opinionated hypocrite, plain and simple.

      She has been part of the judicial system for several years however she lost her credibility to represent the legal profession when she signed up to be on television. Inevitably, as TV persona, she sacrificed her former integrity for prime-time ratings and is now in the same category as Springer and Povich... different genre, but same TV trash programming searching for higher ratings.

      There is no doubt that the tone of her broadcast this evening would have been completely different if the verdict was "GUILTY". She would have absolutely nothing negative to say if the Prosecution Attorneys were celebrating in the same fashion as the Defense team has done tonight merely because she "won" the argument she has supported for the last 3 years (Anthony is guilty).

      Unfortunately, the execs at HLN/CNN don't see miniscule opinions outlined in posts such as this – they only see the ratings on their network. This drives nonsensical, opinionated, garbage programming such as "NANCY GRACE" into contract renewals because $$$ mean more than public opinion.

      Regardless, people like Nancy (phoney-as-a-3-dollar-bill/drama-queen) Grace, Jane Velez (Droopy-Dog) Mitchel, Maury (DNA Test) Povich, Jerry (Anything-for ratings) Springer and Glenn (The Profit) Beck will always be on TV because there are audiences who crave opinionated trash !

      July 6, 2011 at 2:12 am | Report abuse |
  10. Paul


    July 5, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Old Dog On A Hog

    We can fight for Caylee, in a small way, by not helping Casey, her attorneys, or anyone else make money off of this case. As with "OctoMom", we can make it known that we will not watch her movie, buy their books, watch their interviews, or anything else that would put money in their pockets. Justice for Caylee, not money for Casey!

    July 5, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |

      again, Casey wont have to do movies or books. All she has to do is sue HLN and Nancy Grace for the injustice they have done to her!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is how she will make her millions!!!!!!!!!!!

      July 5, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. GRM

    Detectives should have water boarded Casey.

    July 5, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ace

    Well it turns out Nancy does not know what she is talking about after all.

    July 5, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |

      funny, say anything with fact against Nancy and they take it off.

      July 5, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nutsy

      Nancy would be hot in black leather with a whip!

      July 5, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Marilyn L Williams

    The saddest part about this? is that we may never know what really happened to this poor sweet little girl, and thats a darn shame! She deserved so much better.

    July 5, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  15. noni

    she was found not guilty not innocent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 5, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
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