Jury finds Casey Anthony not guilty of murder - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

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Jury finds Casey Anthony not guilty of murder

Updated: Oct 3, 2011 12:44 PM
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ORLANDO (RNN) - A Florida jury has found 25-year-old Casey Marie Anthony not guilty of murdering her young daughter Caylee.

"Casey did not murder Caylee. It's that simple," said Jose Baez, one of Anthony's defense attorneys, in a post-sentencing news conference. "And today, our system of justice has not dishonored her memory by a false conviction."

Baez said that while he was happy for Anthony, there were no winners in the case.

"Caylee has passed on far, far too soon," he said.

The seven women and five men who composed the jury spent less than 11 hours deliberating on their verdict, which was greeted by tears from the embattled 25-year-old.

Anthony faced seven counts - including first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and aggravated manslaughter - in the June 2008 death of 2-year-old Caylee.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Anthony could have been sentenced to death.

The mother was, however, convicted on four counts of providing false information to law enforcement officers.

Each count is a misdemeanor and carries a maximum imprisonment term of one year. Thus, Anthony, who has been jailed for more than three years, could be released with time served.

Sentencing for the convictions will take place Thursday at 9 a.m. ET.

The murder case was handed over to the jury on Monday after Lead Prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick rested the case, which lasted for more than six weeks.

"Whose life was better?" Burdick asked. "That's the only question you need to answer in considering why Caylee Marie Anthony was left on the side of the road dead. There's your answer."

Prosecutors argued that Anthony suffocated young Caylee with duct tape after using chloroform to ease her consciousness. Anthony, they said, then drove the body around for days before ultimately disposing of it a wooded area near her family home.

Anthony, who chose not to testify on her own behalf, has long maintained her innocence. Her defense attorneys claimed that Caylee mistakenly drowned in the family's swimming pool on June 18, 2008.

Anthony, they say, with the help of her father, covered up the accidental drowning in a fit of panic after discovering the dead body.

Under sworn testimony, however, George Anthony refuted that claim.

Anthony originally told investigators that Caylee had been abducted by her nanny. A nationwide search lasted for months before Caylee's remains were found with tape on her skull.

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