Jurors stunned an Orlando courtroom Tuesday afternoon when they returned after nearly 11 hours of deliberations with a verdict of not guilty for Casey Anthony on the three most serious charges she faced in connection with her daughter Caylee’s 2008 death.
Casey Anthony was found not guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and aggravated manslaughter. The jury found her guilty of four counts of providing false information to a law enforcement officer.
Each of those charges carries a maximum of one year in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Thursday at 9 am.
Having been in custody at Orange County Jail since October 2008, it is possible she could be released with time served. Where she goes from there, we have no idea.
Defense attorneys held a brief press conference after the verdict was announced.
“I hope that this is a lesson to those of you having indulged in media assassination for three years,” defense attorney Cheney Mason said, criticizing other lawyers for “getting on television and talking about cases they don’t know a damn thing about.”
Attorney Jose Baez brought the focus back to Casey and Caylee Anthony.
“I want to start by saying while we’re happy for Casey, there are no winners in this case,” Baez said. “Caylee has passed on far, far too soon…Casey did not murder Caylee. It’s that simple.”
Baez said finding justice for both Casey and Caylee was his driving force for the last three years.
“You cannot convict someone until they’ve had their day in court,” Baez added, criticizing the media for its handling of the case.
He praised prosecutors Linda Drane-Burdick—“one of the best lawyers I’ve ever seen”—Frank George and Jeff Ashton, who he called “a fierce opponent.”
Now that the case is over, he said he wants Casey Anthony “to be able to grieve and grow and to somehow get her life back together.”
“The best feeling I will have tonight,” Baez said, “is when my daughter asks me what I did today and I can say I saved a life.”