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. Mitsy

    So, just who do YOU think killed her? Some fictional babysitter? Or the "real" killer of Nicole Brown Simpson? What kind of Kool-Aid are you drinking?

    July 5, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. citizenUSA

    Why inflame old hatreds and bad feelings? I doubt anyone talks about this case unless relating it to something else being talked about. The prosecution blew it. I'm no lawyer but even I could not understand how they were going to get a murder charge to stick.

    July 5, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Areacode612

    Once again, it's not the jurors fault. This was the worst prosecuted case I've seen since OJ.

    July 5, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. mikey


    July 5, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Colin Morgan

    The problem was not the jurors. Had the Prosecutor aimed lower in the charges, I think she would have been convicted. I think she either caused Caylee's death or had a hand in it accidentally. I don't know which and neither did the jurors because the evidence wasn't there. It may frustrate all of us but be glad you live in a country that requires evidence to convict someone.

    July 5, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Chuck

    "She says she's received numerous threats because people still believe she is guilty of the crime."

    This is a big problem. Respect for a jury's verdict is a cornerstone of our society and our nation.

    If you or a friend or loved-one were accused of a crime and a jury acquitted, you would, I'm sure, want that verdict accepted and respected. If that is true, if you would want that for yourself or a friend or loved-one, then you absolutely must give it in this case.

    The jury heard all of the evidence carefully presented in a courtroom under the watchful eyes of a judge. How dare anyone who's exposure to the "facts" and the "law" of the case came from the popular media think that they know better than that jury? It is a form a vigilantism to think that way.

    July 5, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • 4RealUSA

      I can respect a jury's decision but I don't have to respect Casey Anthony because of the way she acted after her child went missing. The disgusting neglegence, lack of urgency, and the incriminating lies that she told, changed, and told again and again are enough to lose my respect for her as a mother and as a person.

      July 5, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. zisee

    She is guilty, and Baez saying that her father was Caylees father in his book is a crock of manure. She is and will always be a liar and loser.

    July 5, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Liz

    I think Casey is guilty...guilty of murder? No...negligence and covering it up and letting it spiral out of control yes. Unfortantely the prosecutors went way to far in trying to nail her..and the jury a smuch as I hate it...made the right choice. Had the charges been more comparable to the evidence they had she'd be serving time or atleast a heap of community service.

    July 5, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. donna

    After reading numerous commentaries, I truly believe that the "CSI effect", really determined the outcome of this trial. Had this case gone to trial far before the recent forensic technology, it would of been tried by just plain old common sense. I blame the prosecution for attempting to try the case on speculated forensic evidence rather than just a actual timeline of events and consequences. In my opinion, Casey Anthony is responsible for the death of her daughter, but how Caylee actually died should not have been the emphasis of the trial. The only peace I find in these horrible deaths and abuse of children is in a higher spirit.

    July 5, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Nekheny

    Casey Anthony would have almost certainly been convicted if some complete fool (not to name names or anything but I'm talking about you, Nancy Grace) hadn't gotten their panties in a bunch and started a media circus, urging the prosecution to shoot for a first-degree murder charge that CLEARLY did not have enough evidence to stick. Nancy Grace is not a good human being.

    "Tot Mom", indeed.

    July 5, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      You are correct... in every scenario the prosecution offered none could have been considered as first degree. When the verdict was handed down a lot of people blamed the jury and I have to say that was unfair because it was correct for the charge. If the prosecution had offered a lesser crime Anthony would be behind bars where she deserves to rot.

      July 5, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Burbank

    She may have a not guity verdict but the crime and horror of what she did will not go unpunished. Just like O.J., it will follow her like a dog and continue to hurt her the rest of her life. Considering how young she is, that's probably going to be a long, long time!

    July 5, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jacob

    Ok. Listen everyone.

    On a personal standpoint, I think she killed her daughter.

    But leagally the jury made the RIGHT decision, heres why:
    One, First off, too us, it seemed obvious she killed her daughter. But that is because of what the press has done to modify the case and to raise more commotion, thats why the jury isnt allowed to watch the news.

    Secondly, and most important, the due process or a criminal case is BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT, therefore they must have NO doubt that casey didnt kill her daughter. And to be honest, there was doubt, a good amount of it. You can argue her story was floppy, but that still shows doubt.

    On that, I believe the jury made the right decision, though I personally believe she killed her daughter.

    July 5, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Southernsugar

    Casey Anthony killed her daughter and someday she is going to admit it. One day she is going to be arrested again, being the filth that she is. Her story will continue, until she admits it.

    July 5, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JanetMermaid

    And it's just as wrong today as it was a year ago.

    July 5, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  15. JustMe

    "One, First off, too us, it seemed obvious she killed her daughter. But ... thats why the jury isnt allowed to watch the news."

    Why do I remember watching Nancy carry on for a year or so before there was even a jury selection process? "Tot Mom" is the reason I stopped watching her show all together (also because her "bombshell tonight" crap). Anyone on the jury had heard what we had heard until the trial started....

    July 5, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
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