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. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    How did the child end up in a roadside ditch and why was duchtape applied to her mouth? And if the child's death was accidental, then why didn't her mother who is an adult contact paramedics or the police? And why did she tell family and friends that her daughter was fine and with another relative when her daughter was long missing and already dead? Guilty as charged!

    July 5, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  2. Ari

    The prosecuting attorney should get the heat from this. He didn't do his job. He charged her with crimes he didn't have evidence to back up. Do I think she's guilty? Probably. Do I think she should be in jail? Yes. Do I think the evidence justified a life sentence in prison? No. There was little evidence and that's the unfortunate thing. They should have tried her for lesser charges and she would be rotting in prison. Instead the prosecutor gave in to the Nancy Grace's of the world and tried her with the harshest possible crime even though there was no evidence.

    July 5, 2012 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  3. Perryboy

    Some have just about put this killer (white woman) out of our minds, but OJ still lives on with hate.

    July 5, 2012 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  4. King

    First she said she didn't know where her child was.....then goes partying the same day of dissappearance as evidenced by photos on facebook, then it turns into "Well, I was abused by my dad", the same guy who is trying to cover up for his daughter by claiming he is the one who buried Caylee in the damn woods, and then it was "she drowned by accident". You can do whatever THE HELL you want to do in Florida and live to tell the tale.

    July 5, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  5. mklsgl

    I ascribe to the K.I.S.S. standard, which logically places blame where it belongs: the jury. They got it wrong. Plenty of speculation and a few direct quotes from some of jurors suggests they wanted to be "wowed" with a CSI type of prosecution. Instead, Ashton and his team presented a 'by-the-book' case. Baez gave them melodramatics and Reality TV crap and it worked.
    Casey Anthony may never spend another moment in a Florida jail cell but she'll always be imprisoned.

    July 5, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  6. Rebbeca

    With any lucky Anthony will be hit by a bus and they can stop giving her attention.

    July 5, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  7. If horses had Gods ... their Gods would be horses

    Not being "found" guilty is not the same as being innocent .. she's as guilty today as she was last year at this time or when she was partying while Caylee was missing.

    July 5, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  8. islam

    In my county of Islam we would just cut her nose and kneecaps off and throw marshmellows at her forehead for 7 days.

    July 5, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  9. Bob Lewis

    Despite the intense emotion, the prosecution overreached in their charges and simply couldn't prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in the charges they brought.

    July 5, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  10. Captain Obvious

    Every person has the right to be defended, but when did "defended" turn into a challenge of how to get someone off the hook by any means possible?! Defense was meant to insure someone is not falsely or overly prosecuted and treated fairly in a court of law. Every lawyer and most of the general public knows it is now nothing more than a compettion to win between the prosecution and defense.

    July 5, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • thomas

      "but when did "defended" turn into a challenge of how to get someone off the hook by any means possible?"

      Shortly after prosecutors started being influenced by politics and their own career and started trying to get any conviction for their record instead of trying to get the right person convicted.

      Prosecutors can be just as slimy as defense lawyers.

      July 5, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. gregingso

    I used to get mad every time I thought about this woman getting away with murdering her child. Then I had a thought. I wondered what Casey would look like as a four year old child. I pictured her as a cute and innocent little girl and then realized that she probably looked a lot like Cayley. So now every time I think about Casey killing little Caylee I just imagine what kind of horrible monster little Caylee would have grown up to be if her mother didn't do everyone a favor by killing her. I mean, she is the spawn of Casey so what kind of person would she of turned out to be? A bigger monster than her mother. I know that sounds cruel but that is what I have to do to not go down to Florida and find the murdering little be-atch and kill her myself.So thanks Casey, I am sure you did the world a favor by getting rid of your spawn and please,please do not birth any more of them, your DNA needs to pass from the face of the earth in order to make sure no other little monsters ever get that DNA passed down to them.

    July 5, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  12. Eunuch

    When a person lies, as Casey's Mother did on the stand, and is NOT prosecuted for perjury our justice system has been effectively neutered.

    July 5, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  13. idunno

    "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."

    I highly doubt the jurors were allowed to watch anything the media put out about the trial. With all those talking heads screaming "guilty guilty guilty!" it would be a blatant injustice, and a mistrial if the judge let their opinions be swayed by the people who sway our opinion. We seem to forget the jurors don't see half of what we do, for legal reasons certain aspects can't be brought up in court. And I'm sorry, but Nancy Grace didn't do all that much to help her. She plastered her FB pictures all over the TV screen and talked about what a party animal Casey was. Prosecutors can turn just about anyone in a drunken party animal thanks to FB. IMO, if there was a prosecutor claiming she knew all my motives and my intentions, I'd call him to the stand and ask him how well he knows me personally. Oh not at all? Then how do you have the authority to speak to my motives?

    July 5, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  14. Norm

    The lynch mob mentality of the media zombies wanted her to be guilty.
    A year later and you can see by the comments that they're still brainwashed.

    July 5, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Eunuch

      Is it still "brainwashing" if she is actually guilty? The reason we all feel the way we do is because common sense tells us the truth even if a jury isn't allowed to use their common sense.

      July 5, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  15. ObamaJoe

    Is our economy good enough ??????????????

    A look back: Casey Anthony found not guilty of killing daughter one year ago,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,so what ???????????

    July 5, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • SeanK

      I will always be baffled at how a jury of peers could have been completely fooled by the defense in this case. Anyone who has any knowledge of how the psyche responds to guilt can tell she killed her kid. 'Nuff said.

      July 5, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • OMG

      That's right, sick of it, let the F go, I was not shocked, so let it go

      July 5, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Totally Characterless

      Why do you read such news items when you are not interested in them? There are scores of other news items to waste your time for. I decided to waste my time on this, it is my choice. Just go away.

      July 5, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
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