ORLANDO, Fla. (WWJ/AP) – Casey Anthony was found not guilty Tuesday of killing her 2-year-old daughter in a case that captivated the nation as it played out on national television from the moment the toddler was reported missing three years ago.

Anthony, 25, wept as the judge read the verdict, which jurors reached after less than 11 hours of deliberation over two days. She was charged with first-degree murder, which could have brought the death penalty if she had been convicted.

Instead, she was convicted of only four counts of lying to investigators looking into the June 2008 disappearance of her daughter Caylee. Her body was found in the woods six months later and a medical examiner was never able to determine how she died.

WWJ Legal Analyst Charlie Langton says the acquittal is a stunner.

“I thought that the jury would have focused on the fact that Calyee was missing for 31 days and there really was no good explanation why Caylee was missing for 31 days and why Casey Anthony wouldn’t have called law enforcement,” he said.

“But here’s the problem with this case, though: From day one, there was no direct evidence as to how Caylee was killed. Was it duct tape? Was it chloroform? Was it drowning? No evidence in the case,” Langton said.

“And the other problem I see here is that how did Caylee get to the swamp … where she was ultimately found? We didn’t really get any link there. I think the prosecution may have actually spent too much time on Casey’s lies,” he said.

Anthony’s attorneys claimed that the toddler drowned accidentally in the family swimming pool  and that her seemingly carefree mother in fact was hiding emotional distress caused by sexual abuse from her father.

Prosecutors contended that Caylee was suffocated with duct tape by a mother who loved to party, tattooed herself with the Italian words for “beautiful life” in the month her daughter was missing and crafted elaborate lies to mislead everyone from investigators to her own parents.

Anthony will be sentenced by the judge on Thursday and could receive up to a year in jail for each lying count.

 – Complete coverage from CBS News –

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Comments (5)
  1. Darlene Thompson says:

    This country is based on a Constitution that was written by our forefathers. Somewhere along the way people seem to have lost sight of the fact that a person is innocent until proven guilty.

    The State of Florida did NOT prove their case against Casey Anthony. The body of Caylee was so decomposed that an exact cause of death could not be determined. There was NO PROOF that Casey actually was the one who chlorophormed her daughter.

    You say if not Casey, then who? How about George, Casey’s father? From the second I heard about his attempted suicide all I could think is WHY would he want to die and leave Casey and his wife alone to endure what he surely knew what they would go through and how much his support could mean to them? Suicide is not a normal reaction to something like this, but it would be a normal reaction if HE had been molesting Caylee. He COULD have killed his grand-daughter because he was molesting her and because he was afraid she would tell her mother or grandmother. His actions all along have been those of a guilty person.

    I only know that the State did not prove it’s case against Casey Anthony BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT.

    And that’s what our constitution calls for. If there is any doubt at all then the jury had to acquit. They did their job.

  2. jeff says:

    Its sad that the majority of the american public just takes the info that is reported in the media as fact with no scrutiny or individual interpretation of the big picture, instead we hear an opinion from Nancy Grace and take it as gospel,repeat it over and over again, echoing the current popular opinion and verdict reached in the media and not a court of law and then when the verdict that matters is announced everyone is outraged and angry! We have a bad habit in the U.S.A of taking things for granted, not putting forth initiative to make our own individual decisions and form original opinions instead of accepting secondhand gossip as fact and becoming offended if the official outcome is different. People watch trials,cheer,boo,and celebrate like its a sporting event. Things in this country have gotten so bad and weve become so accustomed to police,prosecutors,and judges ignoring the way the legal system was intended to operate they plant,plea,lie,rush, whatever tactic the prosecution chooses to bully a defendant its now the norm for a police officer to blatantly lie,prosecutors use unethical practices to manipulate a guilty plea and court appointed attorneys consistently advise low income clients into deals with the state on charges that in theory the prosecutor could never convict on just because he maybe have a paying client in another court. They have customized the system to operate in a way that is efficient for them to maintain a conviction rate that is false and serves as a smoke and mirrors trick intended for the federal government to see when its time to hand out funding to cut crime in areas with real issues. Its so common that defendants are found or plead guilty that the american public get angry when a verdict is not guilty and everyone automatically cries legalized murder, yet dismisses that a defendant may be actually be innocent and a prosecutor may be incompetent, corrupt, or just wrong!! I feel sorry for all the people who believe what the news media reports with no questions, who dont believe corruption exists and shady deals are made everyday. And who dont believe their local police are guilty of ilegal stops and searches, planting evidence, lying under oath etc. If youre a resident of Macomb County, especially in Eastpointe or Warren your police and prosecutors are some of the worst offenders!

  3. Nevaeh Anderson says:

    Do you feel that Syria spying on dissidents?

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