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.

ALTERNATE JUROR SPEAKS

[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."

CASEY ANTHONY'S FAMILY

[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.

ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE

[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.

THE PROSECUTION SPEAKS

[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."

THE JURY

[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.

THE DEFENSE SPEAKS

[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.

THE REACTION

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.

THE VERDICT

[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.

THE DELIBERATION

[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. crackface

    Wow, OJ all over again. Disgusting

    July 5, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. johnny

    NANCY GRACE JUST CRAPPED HER PANTIES AND FOUND OUT HER MOUTHY SHOW WILL BE DISCONTINUED!!!!

    July 5, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Moe

    this will resurface in a few yrs..some new evidence will appear and she will be on death row..

    July 5, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sugar

      Double jeopardy. She can shout from the rooftop that she did it now and cannot be retried!

      July 5, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • True American

      Double jeapordy doesn't allow that to happen!

      July 5, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. stopthemadness

    Of course she got off. Just like OJ got off. Typical. But she'll have to live with the truth for the rest of her days.

    July 5, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • It's black people and Idiots

      See the theme here? Black defendant, black judge. Anytime a black is involved, justice will not prevail.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • whattheheck

      guess she got off because its to costly to keep prisoners imprisioned anymore....unbelievable

      July 5, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just another OJ

      Great, another OJ trial. Maybe Casey Anthony and OJ should get together and make a baby and then kill it since they both seem to like killing things......

      July 5, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • upsetmom

      Once again the justice system fails a child... it's so sad.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mare

      What truth? She's told the lie so many times even she believes it. She's convinced herself that she didn't murder that little baby.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nicole

      another OJ – got away with murder!!!

      July 5, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ream Mom

      Wow, she just got away with murder. Apparently you don't have to report your child missing, and it is ok to party for 31 days, while the child lay rotting 15 houses away from hers. What was this jury thinking. In the end No Justice for Caylee.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vinny

      Can't help but think of Pachino as Satan in the Devil's Advocate- "Aquittal, after aquittal, after aquittal"!

      July 5, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • The system

      Of course she did it. But our system says you have to prove it. There was no cause of death by autopsy, no date of death, so you cannot just say you think she did it. The process worked, good or bad. In this case bad.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aury

      the Jury and this white-trash mom JUST KILLED CAYLE AGAIN!!!

      July 5, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • JKB

      Well like that say what goes around, come's back around!

      July 5, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cheryl

      Of course she got off...what did anyone expect with people on the jury who didn't believe in the death penalty and who didn't like to judge people. I hope she can live with herself for the years to come. Guess she'll home to mommy and daddy and then get pregnant and have another child to kill. If I were to ever kill someone I want to be tried in Flordia so I can get off. Four counts of lying to police ... bull ... enough said. I'm upset.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really??

      ...the OJ trial has just been found GUILTY, for no comparison to this verdict.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • sandman56

      The jury has spoken, but the victems cannot go without retribution, we cant forget them SOMEONE DID KILL THEM ! ! ! . . I think we need more advanced and persistent law enforcement effort, more resources. Nicole Simpson and Caley Anthony still need a voice and believe me when I say ,that voice is coming.
      Teddy roosevelt said it best ............. "The wicked flee unless someone pursueth."

      July 5, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • luney

      yep

      July 5, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sarah

    The state of Florida disgusts me. Not only was it one of the main causes for our economy to crash, but now it can't even pull together a proper verdict. Apparently all you have to do to get off the hook of killing your own child is party for a few days, enter a hot body contest and lie to the cops four times. Absolutely pathetic Florida.

    I can only hope justice will find it's own way to surface.

    July 5, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • bryan

      Reasonable doubt. It's there apparently. That's not so hard to come up with. The prosecution didn't prove anything. They just had a lot of conjecture.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      You disgust me.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • SummerGirl

      I'm stunned and disgusted, too. I never thought they'd convict her of murder 1, but I thought surely she'd be convicted of manslaughter. I've always thought she accidentally killed her while trying to knock her out so she could go party, then tried to make it look like a kidnapping. She completely did it. Letting her walk is pure stupidity, plain and simple.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stew Pit

      So your telling me that florida forced all the banks to carelessly lend money and forced auto makers to carelessly run their operations. Think before you speak you idiot and why dont you visit florida since our economy sucks maybe you can help boost it...

      July 5, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • lucas

      Yep Blame it on Florida for the economic crash.. all our fault... you are an idiot and i think it's time you realized this. She got off because there was not enough substation evidence to convince the jury that she was guilty..

      July 5, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • megbw

      Blaming the state of Florida is pathetic. The jury did the only thing they could do, even if we all know she did it. Doesn't matter what state it was in, the evidence only proved she was a pos, not a murderer.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      You are innocent until proven guilty, regardless of how bad the media focus on you is. This is better than the mob justice/guilty until proven innocent mentality in other countries. I feel the prosecution was unable to provide enough evidence to prove guilt.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • wow

      Well, I wasn't on the jury or anything (*cough cough* neither was anyone else here) and I most definitely didn't have the facts. So my only reply would be that I'm glad tat the state of Florida, and every other state for that matter doesn't convinct people of murder for lying or partying. I think our prisons would be overflowing if that's all it took.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Myron

    HAHAHA Nancy Grace 🙂

    July 5, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • One Who Knows...

      There is more to this than meets the eye, Nancy Grace. NANCY YOU ARE MUCH TOO MEAN!!!! ALL CASEY IS GUILTY OF IS BEING YOUNG, TELLING LIES, AND WANTING TO PLEASE EVERYONE!

      July 5, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Russ

      Yep – she is a whiner!

      July 5, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zelma

      Sooooooo, you're satisfied with the verdict because it's contrary to Nancy Grace
      's opinion. What about the dead girl and the guilty mother that just got away with murder?!

      July 5, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. seriously226

    To all of you that don't agree with this verdict, were you ON the jury, did you hear all of the facts of the case?!?! You can't make assumptions about someone's guilt only based on news articles. The prosecution has the burden to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that someone is guilty, obviously they didn't meet that burden and therefore a not guilty verdict was administered.

    July 5, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Get Real

      Umm... the entire trial was aired on tv, so yes all who watched got to hear the evidence – ALL of it.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • akwebguru

      ..reasonable doubt, people NOT ANY DOUBT...maybe we are in the end of days...where madness reigns and people go free for killing children

      July 5, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Owens

      The whole thing was on TV. No one need to do anything to hear and see the evidence, just turn on the TV.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • die casey

      are you serious? no matter what she needs to be put in jail for life atleast... her kid was missing for how long, found dead and she never reported it? I hope you have a kid that dies and go through all of that pain then the person who killed them is found not guilty...

      July 5, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yooper

      Are you serious seriously226? The entire trial was televised! Of course there are people who saw and heard all the testimony and evidence. Sheesh!

      July 5, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lucy Goosey

      They apparently did not have the evidence they needed for a conviction. Decisions such as this are not made on emotions. Perhaps the prosecutors jumped the gun before they had solid evidence? And because of their impatience, Casey cannot be tried again for this murder. Is she a liar? Yes. Does she know what happened to her daughter? I believe so. Did she do it? I don't know.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • F'N CRAZY!

      Yes, we were on the jury! The *entire* thing was televised! So I think we all were party to the same information and this is the most disgusting use of justice I have ever seen – 2nd to the OJ trial! If any of those 12 people sleep without visions of that monster killing her baby haunting them...then they are just as guilty as she is! This world is out of control insane....

      July 5, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • teril

      To everyone that says "were you on the jury", no but let me say this: its a sad day when THE ONLY PERSON that was with Caylee, and who was supposed to be taking care of her, who had the smell of chloroform, and decomposition in her car, can walk away scott free, from her daughters murder. the duct tape around her mouth and hands prove that it wasn't an accident. she was the only one with her, the only one lying about where she was for that month, and its pretty sad that the jury is so stupid that they can't even add 2+2. the state of florida must love having murderers walk around on their streets! this is an outrage! casey anthony is a liar and murderer

      July 5, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gil Tougas

      I bet you are so smart that commonsense does not apply.i bet you went to Harvard

      July 10, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  8. Kevin

    Weird. I was pretty sure she was guilty.

    July 5, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. skippydog

    None of you were no on that jury. The jury made their decision. The State's case was NOT bulletproof as some of you are suggesting. Our system (thank God) does not depend on mob rule. Perhapes the police should have handled the evidence better.

    July 5, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • ak

      well hopefully the mob rules of prison will have her shanked in a bathroom

      July 5, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • David in Corpus

      Libtard.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zelma

      Maybe not bullet proof, nothing is, but my goodness pretty compelling! Not even manslaughter?!

      July 5, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry P

      Right, OJ didn't do it either! I guess it's pretty easy to find 12 idiots these days.

      July 5, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Brian

    This is a very sad day for our Court system today. I thought this country has learned from the OJ case. 1 plus 2 doesn't equal 3 anymore........

    July 5, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sue Santonastaso

    How disappointed I am in our judicial system. Now I know if I ever get in trouble with the law, all I have to do is lie, lie, lie, and accuse anyone and everyone. That must be the American way! How very sad for all of us.

    July 5, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. janey

    My head agrees with the jury's decision. My heart tells me that there will be no justice for a murder child because her mother wanted none. Casey Anthony lied continually and did everything she could to stall investigations into her daughter's death. And now she's free. God help us all.

    July 5, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Daniel

    Agree 100% with all decisions by jury.

    July 5, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Tina-not the moron.

    Very sick and disappointing. Whatever little faith I had left in the Justice system is completely gone now. No justice for that poor beautiful little girl. I can't believe 12 people could be so stupid. I only hope I'm still around to see that murderous monster get what's coming to her.

    July 5, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Patty

    Well, she is guilty of one thing, being a bad mother.

    July 5, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
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