July 5th, 2011
02:33 PM ET

BREAKING: Jury acquits Casey Anthony on first-degree murder

(CNN) - Casey Anthony was acquitted Tuesday of first-degree murder and the other most serious charges against her in the 2008 death of her 2-year-old daughter.

But the jury convicted Anthony on four counts of providing false information to law enforcement officers.

The verdict was reached by the seven-woman, five-man jury after deliberating for less than 11 hours in a trial that stretched to more than six weeks and featured allegations of sexual abuse, questions regarding Casey Anthony's competence and various theories on what happened to 2-year-old Caylee.

Casey Anthony, 25, was charged with seven counts - first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter of a child and four counts of providing false information to a law-enforcement officer in Caylee's 2008 disappearance and death.

Caylee was last seen June 16, 2008, but was not reported missing until July 15, 2008, when Casey Anthony's mother, Cindy Anthony, tracked her daughter down and demanded answers regarding Caylee's whereabouts.

Prosecutors alleged Casey Anthony used chloroform to render her daughter unconscious and then duct-taped her mouth and nose to suffocate her. They alleged that she put the child's body in the trunk of her car for a few days before disposing of it. Caylee's skeletal remains were discovered December 11, 2008, by former Orange County meter reader Roy Kronk.

Casey Anthony's defense attorneys maintained that Caylee was not murdered at all. They said the child drowned in the Anthony's above-ground pool on July 16, and that Casey Anthony and her father, George Anthony, panicked upon finding her there and covered up the death. George Anthony denied that in his testimony.

The defense also attempted to cast suspicion on Kronk, the meter reader. Defense attorneys asserted that he had found Caylee's remains months earlier than he claimed and that he hid them before placing them where they were found. He did that, they claimed, just before notifying authorities in an effort to cash in on the high-profile case.

Kronk denied those allegations, according to his attorney. He testified on the stand that after calling police three times in August 2008 to report something suspicious in the woods, a deputy met him at the scene and "chewed me out," telling him he was wasting the county's time. He said he dropped the matter after that until he revisited the scene in December and found Caylee's skull.

Prosecutors pointed to Casey Anthony's behavior during the 31 days before Caylee was reported missing as evidence of her guilt.

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soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Tessie

    Surprise/surprise Am hoping that there will be no money offer from any source for: book /money/movie deals. We want justice for Caylee and her mother should not profit or benefit from her unsolved death. Justice for Caylee.

    July 5, 2011 at 10:39 pm |
  2. ed

    This is OJ part 2. Actually, I guess it's always been like this ...Justice for some, but not equal justice.

    July 5, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
  3. jay batchelor

    The prosecution and the Judge's written instructions were complicated and put too much pressure on the jury! Jury had too much pressure and they decided on Not Guility. Pressure got to the Jury!

    July 5, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  4. Nancy

    There was no justice for Caylee Marie Anthony today and Casey Anthony got away with murder..This justice system is not working for the victims...at all.....

    July 5, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  5. Martina

    By the way.....no one won. A little girl was murdered.

    July 5, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  6. Steven in Denver

    As in many cases (especially when a person is exonerated by DNA after years of incarceration) we may never know many of the details of what happened. Still, all defendants supposedly enjoy the presumption of innocence unless they are convicted, and the prosecution, who had every procedural advantage in the courtroom, did not prove guilt except in the "lying tom police" charges (though they brag about how they get confessions by lying to witnesses and suspects). Ben Franklin, conservative British judge William Blackstone, and the Jewish philosopher Maimonides all stated that it is better for many guilty persons (from 10 to 1,000 in their examples) to go free than for one innocent person to be convicted, especially if they face execution.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  7. Brian

    This is an awful representation of our criminal justice system and I am embarrassed for all those involved in the failure of her conviction. For the jury to find Casey not guilty of murder is one thing, but to find her not guilty on the first 3 counts was unimmaginable. There is no acceptable reason that a mother would dispose of the body of her "accidentally drowned" daughter and lie to the police in the way Casey did. She is now going to be a millionaire celebrity and will live out her "bella vida" just as she wanted to prior to being arrested and going to jail for the past three years. This is an example to our entire country which states that if you are a good enough liar, you can even get away with murder.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  8. Kel

    I have never seen such injustice. I hope the jury doesn't do any interviews b/c they are going to be slaughtered by the public for their verdict. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I don't even want to hear about the evidence being circumstantial – there was no justice for little caylee today. Hopefully they can live with themselves.

    July 5, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  9. Thomas Stickley

    This is absurd. The only tears she shed during this trial is when she found out she was spending the rest of her life in prison. She's guilty of everything she was charged with. God will convict, I just hope it's sooner than later. She is worst than a child preditor. She doesn't have to register.

    July 5, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  10. Tammy Reiter

    This is unbelievable. I will never understand this verdict! OJ all over again!

    July 5, 2011 at 2:37 pm |