Unbelievable: Casey Anthony Not Guilty in Slaying of Daughter


courtOrlando, Fla. – Casey Anthony, the young mother whose seeming heartlessness at the disappearance of her daughter transfixed America for three years, was found not guilty today of killing the girl, Caylee Marie.After nearly six weeks of testimony, a panel of seven women and five men decided that Ms. Anthony did not murder Caylee by dosing her with chloroform, suffocating her with duct tape and dumping her in a wooded area, as prosecutors claimed. They did, however, find her guilty of lesser charges of providing false information to law enforcement officers. The jury did not ask to review any evidence.

When the verdict was read, Ms. Anthony, 25, who faced a possible death sentence, cried.

The verdict vindicates the defense, which argued from the start that Caylee drowned accidentally in the family swimming pool and that the death was concealed by her mother and her panicked grandfather George Anthony.

It also drove home just how circumstantial the prosecution’s case proved to be. Forensic evidence was tenuous and no witnesses ever tied Ms. Anthony to Caylee’s murder. Investigators found no trace of DNA or solid signs of chloroform or decomposition inside the trunk of Ms. Anthony’s car, where prosecutors said Ms. Anthony stashed Caylee before disposing of her body.

The prosecution was also hurt by the fact that nobody knows exactly how Caylee died; her body was too badly decomposed to pinpoint cause of death.

All of this allowed José Baez, Ms. Anthony’s lawyer, to infuse enough reasonable doubt in jurors’ minds to get Ms. Anthony acquitted of murder.

“They throw enough against the wall and see what sticks,” Mr. Baez told the jury, “right down to the cause of death.”

Caylee, a 2-year-old with cherubic cheeks and bright eyes, was last seen June 16, 2008. Her decomposed body was found six months later in a wooded area near the Anthony home. Despite her daughter’s disappearance, Ms. Anthony failed to report Caylee missing for 31 days and created a tangle of lies, including that a baby sitter had kidnapped Caylee, to cover up the absence.

The defense conceded Ms. Anthony’s lies but said they happened for one reason: she had been abused by her father and had been coached to lie her whole life.

“I told you she was a liar the first day,” Mr. Baez told the jury.

Despite a vivid portrait of Ms. Anthony’s seemingly callous and deceitful behavior after Caylee’s disappearance, jurors decided that the leap from uncaring mother to murderess proved too much.

Prosecutors argued all along that Ms. Anthony killed her child so she could carouse and be free of the “burden” of her child.

“Whose life was better without Caylee?” Linda Drane Burdick, one of the prosecutors, asked jurors. “That’s the only question you need to answer in considering why Caylee Marie Anthony was left on the side of the road dead.”

With that, Ms. Drane Burdick ended her closing statement with a dramatic flourish, leaving behind a split-screen image: one picture was a smiling Ms. Anthony partying with friends after Caylee’s death.

One prosecutor, Jeff Ashton, called it “absurd” that Mr. Anthony, a former homicide detective, would find Caylee dead in the swimming pool and, rather than call 911, cover up the drowning, wrap dead Caylee’s face with duct tape and dump her body.

“It is a trip down a rabbit hole into a bizarre world where men who love their granddaughters find them drowned and do nothing,” Mr. Ashton said. “Where men who love their granddaughters take an accident, a completely innocent act, and make it look like a murder for no reason.”

With Caylee’s grandparents in the back of the courtroom, prosecutors also spoke forcefully about the pain the grandparents felt when they realized that their granddaughter was missing and that their daughter was the chief suspect. Mr. Anthony grew so despondent after the death that he attempted suicide in 2009, leaving behind an eight-page suicide note.

Mr. Anthony, who had testified tearfully during the trial, denied abusing his daughter and finding Caylee floating in the swimming pool.

As for motive, prosecutors said Caylee’s murder was hastened by the fact that she was beginning to string together words and would soon be able to reveal her mother’s lies.

Prosecutors also used jail-house recordings of Ms. Anthony and photographs of her reveling with friends to show that she was clearly not grieving for a daughter who had supposedly drowned.

Mr. Baez, who began his law career in 2005 and three years later took up Ms. Anthony’s case, did little to bolster his initial defense during the trial, a fact that prompted experts to say he was overpromising to the jury.

He delved lightly into the drowning theory and said nothing more about the abuse after the first day of trial. Judge Belvin Perry Jr., the presiding judge who also heads the Ninth Circuit Court, barred Mr. Baez from mentioning the abuse accusation during closing statements because there was no evidence to support his claim.

Yet he successfully hammered away at the relatively weak forensic evidence. More than 50 investigators recovered nearly 400 pieces of evidence, including trash and trash bags, in the wooded area where Caylee’s body was found. Ms. Anthony’s car also was impounded to test for signs of DNA, decomposition and chloroform.

As the trial wound on, Mr. Baez repeatedly turned Mr. Anthony into the villain, saying he had covered up the drowning and allowed Ms. Anthony to take the blame. He also spoke about the family’s dysfunction.

As for Ms. Anthony’s behavior, Mr. Baez said she was panicked and confused, adding that every person grieves differently.

“This case should not be decided for or against anyone because you feel sorry for anyone or are angry at anyone,” Mr. Baez told the jury.

{NY Times/Matzav.com Newscenter} 


  1. Everyone knows that a jury is made up of a bunch of people who’d rather not be there. Everyone also knows that a jury generally knows in the very beginning how they will judge the person.
    In Rubashkin case, however, Sholom, a frum Yid in a mean and uncaring goyishe community, stood no chance after that prosecutor besmirched him to no end. Why? Simple. He is a frumme yid, and they couldn’t care less if he rots in jail. Ay, he helped the community and built up Postville, and gave everyone jobs, and treated all people so nicely, and paid his bills on time; all that fell to the wayside because he is a Jew. Let’s not kid ourselves. Esav soneh es Yaakov, and when they get a chance to show their true colors, zol der aibishter merachem zein.

  2. If the prosecution can’t prove anything, then it’s the same as not finding the murderer. She almost for sure killed him, but that doesn’t give anyone the right to punish her without proof.

  3. Once again in a matter of a few days we have seen the wisdom of the adage “innocent until proven guilty”.
    And of course the idea of being “dan lkav zechus”.

  4. Why is this so “Unbelievable”? Bec the media has been having a field day for the past three years? Bec the media has been screaming her guiltiness for three years? Since when has the media been credible anyway? A mother killing her child and hiding it! Wow! What a great media story! But, the jury who has heard every sort of argument for six weeks realized that sensationaliziam isn’t a reason to put someone behind bars for life!

  5. Justice lies with only G-D. Therefore if she did do it He will settle any and all acounts dues and owing. The job of the jury is to serve as the trier of fact from the presentations the prosecution and defense and sort out what the “facts’ are. The defense’s job is to hammer at his or her opponent to make sure they do not get away with putting away an innocent person.
    All too recently we have seen what happens when a jury is overly swayed by biased prosecutions and judges. Here the systyem worked

  6. I can not believe this!! A Child dead not mourned for a month, damped, and only person who knows what and why is Not Guilty, and Rubashkin and other jews are sitting in jail!and they never hurt

  7. So, who murdered the child? Maybe the Family can hire OJ Simpson to help locate the murderer. He might be on the golf course!

  8. Not Guilty means they don’t have enough direct proof that she did it. It doesn’t mean that she’s innocent and a saint. But the job of a jury is not to kill someone (death penalty) without direct proof that it was her. Not grieving enough is not proof that she did it!

  9. they didnt have any direct evidence at all
    1- no dna of her on the child’s remains
    2- no dna of the child in any incriminating location
    3- no dna on the tape that was on her head possibly used to kill the child
    4- not one witness testified that she ever abused the child
    5- no evidence of any dead body being in the defense’s car, which wouldnt have meant anything more than the mom hid the corpse.
    6- there was testimony from a previous friend of the father that the father only said words to the effect of ” it was an accident that got out of hand”
    7- no previous violent convictions against the 25 year old.
    8- not a single witness testimony of anyone anywhere on earth claiming that the mom was violent with anyone on earth.
    9- no evidence of the method of death.
    nonetheless the 25 year old was held in jail prior to trial for 2-1/2 years. incredible

  10. I can understand not giving her the death penalty but it’s incomprehensible that she got off on the child abuse charge. These jurors must be brain dead to find that a mother partying for 31 days after her child goes missing is not guilty of neglect…

  11. Even in a Sanhedrin under Jewish law she would have been found to be Potur bedinai adam vechayav bedinei shamayim. I agree with number 5 that if she is guilty Hashem will take care of her!

  12. To #12: So maybe Matzav should not post any news? This was a case that made headlines time and again across the country. If you’re not interested, don’t read it. I’m sure we all click on some items and not on others and we are not all clicking on the same ones!

  13. This brings to mind the Gemoro in Sanhedrin 37b
    ?”? ????? ?? ??? ???? ????? ?? ?? ????? ??? ??? ??? ????? ?????? ????? ????? ?????? ???? ???? ???? ????? ????? ????? ?????? ?? ??? ?? ???? ??? ?? ??? ?? ??? ??? ?? ???? ???? ??? ???? ???? ???? ???? ???? ?? ?? ???? ???? ???? ??? ????? ?????? ???? ????? ???? ???? ?? ????? ???? ?? ??? ??? ?? ??? ??? ??????