Casey Anthony Trial - The Verdict's In
Twelve jurors in the Casey Anthony murder trial reached a verdict Tuesday July, 5th, 2011, three years after two-year old Caylee Anthony was killed.
In open court, at about 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, the verdict was read. Casey Marie Anthony was found guilty of four counts of lying to law enforcement officers, not guilty of first degree murder, not guilty of aggravated child abuse, not guilty of manslaughter of a child.
Defense attorney Jose Baez and team found a "win" for client Casey Anthony, leaving only guilty charges on the four counts of giving false information to law enforcement when she made statements about the disappearance of her daughter.
The Judge confirmed the jurors' findings and Casey was fingerprinted in court and taken back to jail, waiting further hearings on Thursday at 9 a.m. for sentencing on the four guilty counts of giving false information to a law enforcement officer.
After ten and one-half hours of deliberation, the 12-member jury were unanimous in reaching verdicts on all seven counts against "tot-mom" Casey Anthony.
Five alternate jurors were kept in a separate room, not needed to render a verdict in the six-week long trial in Orlando, Florida. The jurors, all from St. Petersburg, in Pinellas county Florida, were sequestered in Orlando for the length of the trial.
The trial extended through the 4th of July weekend, with final rebuttal arguments by the state prosecution team on Independence Day,
Defense attorney Jose Baez was said to have done the best he could for his client, given her amazing history of lying to everyone including family, friends, and law enforcement, about her daughter's whereabouts, and what happened to her.
Casey ultimately, after mother Cindy found Caylee not with Casey, claimed Caylee was kidnapped by a baby sitter, but that turned out to be yet another lie.
Baez, a Florida attorney of only three years when he took the murder case was widely criticized for his inexperience and his surprising opening statement claiming 2-year old Caylee Anthony died in a family swimming pool accident.
Baez wanted the jury to believe Casey's father George knew about the death but covered it up, and somehow under the death theory, an Orlando meter reader hid the body until ultimately he was to find the child's skull in a wooded swamp near the Anthony home in December 2008.
Although Baez had claimed Casey was sexually abused by her father and brother, Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., did not allow that to be mentioned in closing statement as there was no evidence presented during the trial to any facts supporting that claim.
The next judicial step will be sentencing after hearing defense attorneys arguments to sentence Casey for time served, about three years in jail already, allowing her to be set free Thursday.
The judge rejected a motion by Baez last week to stop the trial, after three separate psychological examinations were made, finding her fit to continue the trial.
Should a guilty verdict have been handed down by the jurors, a death sentence in Florida normally takes about 30 years to be carried out, due to extensive appeal processes allowed convicted defendants.
Judge Perry discharged the jurors Tuesday afternoon, and explained to the jurors they were at liberty to speak or not speak to anyone about their jury experience.
Sentencing hearings will begin Thursday. Casey is convicted of four misdemeanors, with prison time up to one year for each.