July 5th, 2012
07:30 AM ET

A look back: Casey Anthony found not guilty of killing daughter one year ago

One year ago Thursday, Casey Anthony entered a courtroom in a pink ruffled shirt, her hair pulled back in a ponytail. She waited to learn whether a jury had found her guilty in the death of her daughter, Caylee.

The tension was palpable. The case had gripped the entire country, and emotions were flaring outside the courthouse. Inside, Anthony was biting her nails and her lower lip and taking deep breaths at the defense table.

Then came the words that would divide many: not guilty. Her trial was one that had gripped the nation. It was a summer obsession for many, who stayed glued to the TV from the moment Caylee went missing to the moment that verdict was read.

Casey Anthony's trial was a summer obsession  | Casey Anthony's trial is one hot ticket 

Anthony had been found not guilty of first-degree murder in the 2008 death of her 2-year-old daughter and of aggravated child abuse and aggravated manslaughter. The woman whose face was known around the world, who had been dubbed "tot mom," had her day in court.

HLN: The Casey Anthony Effect | Nancy Grace: Story 'didn't make sense' from start

 She wiped tears from her eyes, clutched her attorneys' hands and hugged them.

One year later, Anthony remains in hiding, fearful for her safety and her life. She says she's received numerous threats because people still believe she is guilty of the crime. But she continues to fight to convince them that she is not guilty, exactly the finding a jury decided 12 months ago. Anthony said the world may have one view of her, but she knows who she truly is.

"There’s obviously several misconceptions," Anthony told CNN's Piers Morgan in June. "Obviously, I didn’t kill my daughter."

Anthony told Morgan that she cherished her daughter and did not want to get rid of her, as many people had suggested during and after her trial.

"If anything there’s nothing in this world I’ve ever been more proud of, and there’s no one I loved more than my daughter," Anthony said. "She’s my greatest accomplishment."

As the anniversary nears, here is a look back at evidence and testimony, the verdict as it happened, analysis of the "historic decision" by the jury and some key video from the trial.

Defense: 'Caylee drowned'

The defense argues the Casey Anthony case is not a murder case but a tragic coverup that "snowballed out of control."

Casey: 'All I want is my kid back'

In a conversation taped in jail, Casey Anthony lashes out at the media over coverage of Caylee's disappearance.

Cindy Anthony: 'I lost it'

In court, Casey's mother, Cindy Anthony, describes her journey to finally see Casey and realizing Caylee was missing.

Lee Anthony: 'I was really hurt'

Brother Lee Anthony breaks down in court when asked about Casey's pregnancy.

soundoff (255 Responses)
  1. raven

    And she said "All I want is my kid back"? Sorry, Casey, it doesnt work like that;you can only kill the same person once.

    July 3, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO ©

      Karma would dictate that Caylee comes back as an alligator and rips her apart. Or something like that. I never really studied Hinduism.

      July 3, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. BOMBO ©

    It's been a year already? Wow, that means it's been a year since I was in Florida. Seeing the shuttle launch was the highlight of that trip, not this lousy verdict. Harry Potter world at Universal was OK too. Almost getting struck by lightening at Seaworld, not so much.

    July 3, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JC

    Piers Morgam, what's up with you, why did you have cowboy atty on twice to defind CA, do you really think listening to that boso is going to make anyone think this baby killer is innocent; I've lost my respect for you Piers. Perhaps is it all about ratings and who you chose to have on your program?

    July 4, 2012 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
    • NinjaBoot

      Well said JC. Piers is a sell out! I've almost given up on CNN. Nancy Grace is the worst anchor woman I have ever seen. Her show is terrible and she is rude and ignorant to most her guests. Why have someone on your show to just cut off there mic? Ratings maybe? Now Anderson does the same thing! I was just starting to like that guy too. What ever happened to true journalism and reporting?

      July 5, 2012 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  4. JMC

    And a killer walks the streets!!!!!!!!!

    July 4, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. TW

    The public had interpretted on what Media had portrayed as for her being guilty. When I think of this case and many others exploited by media broadcast, I see a country that does not believe INNOCENT til Proven. One day Ms Anthony will have her life as free, and while it may be years, I wish the best for her. I think back of Jon Benet case and how her mother was torn apart by media, as well as the family. This too has happened with the Anthony family. I believe Casey Anthony did not kill her daughter, I believe she as well is a victim. The question was not who killed Cailey, but how did she die and why was there a cover up. I believe Casey Anthony will one day confront the situation and expose the trueth, not for the public but for her own peace of mind even if it hurts those whom are family. A mother's instinct is to protect the child, in this case will the child protect the mother in the end.

    July 5, 2012 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Wow, you are as delusional as Casey Anthony. The defense argued that her father knew about the drowning and helped her cover it up. That arguement makes absolutely no sense to any reasonably sane person. Her father was a cop and he would have known a drowning would have been ruled just as an accident. There would have been no need for all the lies and eventual lengthy court case that did take place.

      July 5, 2012 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
    • gregingso

      I hate to break it to you but Jon Benet WAS in fact killed by her mother. The Ramsey's had enough money to buy doubt and they must of sold some to you. They are both (Anthony and Ramsey) killers of their own child. Believe otherwise if it helps you sleep at night but don't try to sell it to me.

      July 5, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  6. mrsdoubtfire

    Caylee Anthony was found in a swamp She didnt drown. She was placed there, stuffed in a laundry bag because someone wanted to cover up a crime.........not a friggin accidental drowning .
    Casey Anthony told lie after lie after lie after lie. Her car stunk like a dead body. This is not a complicated case. When her abudction lies coul dno longer stand, she turned on her father. He was the only member of the family who testiified at the garand jury. Casey hated him for it. She is evil imo.... a truly bad seed.

    July 5, 2012 at 7:14 am | Report abuse |
  7. idunno20202

    "When I think of this case and many others exploited by media broadcast, I see a country that does not believe INNOCENT til Proven."

    Exactly. Too many people watching Nancy Grace scream at everyone who disagrees that a defedant is guilty.

    If you think Casey Anthony is guilty you have no faith in the US justice system and are unAmerican.

    July 5, 2012 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
    • rich4159

      A verdict of inocent does not mean she was not guilty. Most juror who spoke out agreed she did murder caylee but the prosecution did not make the case. As to nancy grace. She was caseys best allie. She did more to get Casey off than anyone not associated with the trial could have.

      July 5, 2012 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      The courts have been hard at work at destroying the public's faith in our "justice" system for decades.

      July 5, 2012 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  8. Verity

    Not guilty is NOT the same as innocent. Even the jury said they believed she killed her child, they just felt there wasn't enough evidence.
    I hope she is haunted by her actions for the rest of her life.

    July 5, 2012 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
  9. Manon

    So her year of probation is over? Like nothing happened? She can move anywhere? Do we know if she had contact with her family? I have no choice but to respect the jury's decision, even if it makes me sick, BUT... I can hope that she has nightmares and fears for her safety for the rest of her life...

    July 5, 2012 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  10. Brian

    We all know where she'll be for eternity. For now, she'd better enjoy the air conditioning......because come her day of Judgment......well, let's just say she's gonna need some serious ice blocks and a commercial-grade mister.

    July 5, 2012 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  11. 2T

    There is no way in hell this child drowned by accident. What child drowns and gets puts in a bag with duct tape covering her mouth and lips? To assume we are going to swallow this because 12 stupid or lazy people said so is ridiculous. CA may be free but the public opinion will not change the fact that her child was murdered, and she did it.

    July 5, 2012 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  12. InterestedAttorney

    The fact of the matter is that the jury, as some of the commentators above have picked up on, can only rule based on the evidence presented to it within the courtroom. In cases such as these they are sequestered and, as such, are not exposed to the hundreds of conflicting theories bantering around in the media's coverage. It was up to the prosecution to make the case. Please note that this was not a mistrial. There was no hung jury. While many of you harp on the statements made by the jury following the trial ("we thought she killed her daughter"), it is important to note that if that were truly the case, this would likely not have come out as a 'Not Guilty' verdict for the defendant. It speaks volumes that not a single member of the jury felt strongly enough that 'she killed her daughter' to prevent a Not Gulity verdict. The problem here is that the passion of the public demanded blood for what happened to Caylee. What happened was terrible, and was something that should never happen to anyone, let alone a child. Was there a cover-up surrounding the girl's death? That is undisputed. The fact remains that the jury found for Not Guilty. And unless someone else can provide additional and compelling evidence to the contrary...this is a ruling we must all accept.

    July 5, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  13. 2T

    CNN and her attorneys are trying to redeem her. The defense's theory that the child drowned by accident matches absolutely nothing of the evidence presented by the State. Even if someone tried to believe it, it is just impossible. 12 stupid people deemed her not guilty, and that is their business, but for an entire nation to swallow an impossible theory is to ask too much.

    July 5, 2012 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  14. LLou

    I read about this case and it still upsets me today. Not only is it frustrating to know that Casey is free to do as she pleases, but the notion that she is still being coward, and still telling the same old lies simply rubs salt in the wound. We know Casey killed her daughter, do we know exactly how and why? No, and we probably will never have the answers. But we can hope that somewhere down the line Casey will have to pay for her actions, if not in this life, the next. I mean, look at OJ Simpson, ...what goes around comes around.

    July 5, 2012 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Truth

      If she is really not guilty will you be judged for judging an innocent person wrongly? People can do stupid things in critical situations. It is part of how your brain works. Being raised poor on top of trying to live rich on top of the child you love dieing... pushed her over the mental edge. It's not even her fault as this is the way our current society is. We are not created equal or living in harmony like we should be (look up The Venus Project for the reasons why we are out of balance as humans).

      July 5, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      What makes you think she is guilty? She was determined not guilty by a jury of her peers who had a better look at the evidence than you or I. What did anyone gain by allowing her to escape justice if she was in fact guilty?

      July 5, 2012 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Fn0rdz

      The evidence does not support your assertions.

      July 5, 2012 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
    • loriey

      Beautifully written! My question is....jsut where is Casey Anthony obtaining the money for her "living expenses" while she remains in hiding....then there's that "blog thing" she did wearing black glasses & having bleached blonde hair. As far as Ari's comment...WHAT mother does NOT report her toddler "missing" for a month??? If Caylee DID drown....Casey should have reported it right then & there. The taped 911 call....there was not one shred of "sorrow" in her voice....i.e. My daughter's been missing for a month, I know who has here andI've tried other means to find her"....yet there is NOT one shed of proof Casey was looking for Caylee at all...she was too busy sleeping with then boyfriend Tony & going out at night partying. Her OWN parents could nt believe she did not tell them OR call the police at ANY time.

      July 5, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      You don't "know" anything. You suspect and you believe but you don't know for a fact that she did or didn't kill her daughter.

      July 5, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • sam

      You are a sad, sad human being. I hope you can find it within yourself to accept the truth some day, and not the "truth" that people like Nancy Grace feed you with flailing arms and sensationalist language. I hope that you find the courage to think for yourself.

      July 5, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jeff

    I believe in our system, while not perfect. So is Casey really free.....she gets death threats, stays in hiding, can't go out in public or get a job. But I will side with LLou with the fact that what comes around goes around and that time may finally bring the truth out or she (Casey) will step in poop again.

    July 5, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
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