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Producer's Notebook: Second row seat to Casey Anthony saga
July 5th, 2011
01:45 PM ET

Producer's Notebook: Second row seat to Casey Anthony saga

(CNN) - Casey Anthony appeared tense this morning as she entered the courtroom, with the gravity of three years in custody, thirty-five days on trial, and a second day of jury deliberations clearly apparent in her face. From the second row of the courtroom viewing gallery, I watched her sit down and have an animated conversation with Dorothy Clay Sims, a member of her defense team, before the jury was called in to be spoken to by the judge.

Prosecutor Jeff Ashton, on the other hand, looked relaxed, albeit worn out, as he strolled into the courtroom joking with a reporter about finally getting some sleep last night. For prosecutors, the long grueling days of the Casey Anthony saga are finally coming to an end. For the woman at the center of this saga, this trial could very well spell the beginning of the end of her life. All both sides can do, like the American public that’s been captivated by this case, is sit and wait for the jury to decide her fate.

I found myself with a second row seat to this saga because I’ve been sent on assignment by AC360° to help cover the verdict and secure interviews with the defense team, the prosecution, jurors and, ideally, Anthony’s family. The interest in this case is so intense, however, that actually getting into the courtroom this morning was no small feat.

Each media organization is given one seat in the media viewing area and ours is reserved for CNN correspondent Martin Savidge. To get my own, I had to brave the line with the general public early this morning. Luckily, unlike in past weeks, no fistfights broke out and people listened intently to deputies delivering instructions on conduct in the courtroom.

Related video: Fight outside Casey Anthony courthouse

Once we were given our tickets for entry and made our way through security and up to the courtroom on the 23rd floor, deputies twice more gave us explicit instructions including making no facial expressions and “no gestures.” They were clearly wary of having a repeat of the spectator that flipped his middle finger to Jeff Ashton last week.

The trial has had no shortage of drama and I’ve just learned a verdict has been reached. On my way back to the courtroom. Stay tuned.

Later: Casey Anthony not guilty of first-degree murder

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • AC361°
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Joe J

    I think the jury had , had enough of orange county and the prosecution team , Ashton was childish and down right rude to the defences witneses , and , answer me this , what in the world happens when casey has another child , kill her or him also , because theres a hot body contest down the road ,,,,im sick

    July 5, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
  2. Hank Adams

    Judge Perry will be constrained from imposing a vindictive sentence that displays any clear disagreement with the jury’s verdict on the murder and manslaughter charges against Casey Marie Anthony. He will be constrained by sentencing guidelines from imposing four consecutive four (4) year sentences on the proven charges and guilt verdicts for “providing false information” to police officers.

    The prosecutors, however, should recommend a minimum sentence of One (1) Year in jail for each conviction and that those be served consecutively. But because each instance of “providing false information” directly resulted in Caylee Anthony’s not being recovered for 179 days from the date of her death, each conviction should have an added sentence of 179 days for a total sentence of 4 years and 716 days – or cumulatively 5 years and 314 days – with credit for time served, which has been only but an equivalent of Caylee’s short life span, she having died 55 days short of her third birthday.

    July 5, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  3. Jacki

    I am shocked at the outcome!(I know it may be a legal thing though......) If it was a pool accident, what about the duct tape placed over her mouth? If that was to cover up an accident, was the pool accident proven? what about the traces of chloroform found, what about the computer searches found? If the mother made those searches, which appears to make no sense, did she give a good reason why? I know they say there may be no direct evidence, but to me the negative info. so much outweighs the other side. With Casey's history of lying in he life & her appearing to care only for herself, did they allow a sociopath go free of paying for murder? (I admit that I may not know the signs of such a person...)

    July 5, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  4. Nancy

    Who killed Caylee? I wasn't there to hear the arguments. Why would a mother be partying, for what I had heard for weeks (whether it had been 1 week or 4 weeks), and not reported her daughter missing. Nothing will change my mind. This was a mother who didn't want to be "tied down, "burdened" with a child. Casey just wanted "rid" of her child to be the center of attention again. Our justice system makes me sick!

    July 5, 2011 at 2:59 pm |