The murder trial that has captivated America has come to an end with a shocking decision. Casey Anthony was found not guilty of first degree murder of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee Marie by the 12-member jury — consisting of seven women and five men. She was also found not guilty of aggravated child abuse and not guilty of aggravated manslaughter.
The jury’s decision was just read aloud from inside the Orlando, Fla., courthouse after 33 days of dramatic testimony and almost two days of emotional closing arguments.
Casey was found guilty on four counts of providing false information to a law enforcement officials and will be sentenced for those crimes Thursday at 9 a.m.
Casey’s innocence means she has escaped the death penalty.
The 25-year-old was charged with first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter of a child and four counts of lying to law enforcement, after being accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee Marie and covering it up by disposing of her body during the summer of 2008.
She did not report her daughter missing until 33 days later, and not until December 2008 was her body found in a wooded area close to Casey’s home.
Casey’s attorney Jose Baez said during his opening statements that Caylee was “not murdered, but accidentally drowned in the family pool,” and Casey’s father, George Anthony, helped to cover up her death.
Last week, Casey made the decision to not testify in her own defense during the trial, maintaining it was her choice and she was not influenced by her team of lawyers.
Judge Belvin Perry thanked the jury before dismissing the court, offering his “sincere thanks and apprication for your service as our jurors.”
He added: “We took you away from your families for a very extended period of time, and for that I say thank you.”
For more on the jury’s decision, and a live stream of the courtroom action, visit Radar Online.