Many readers of our blog are likely already aware of the recent end to the murder trial of Casey Anthony, the 25-year-old Florida woman accused of the murder of her two-year-old daughter Caylee. On Tuesday, the jury returned a not guilty verdict on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated manslaughter, and aggravated child abuse.
The jury did, however, find that Anthony was guilty on four counts of providing false information to a law enforcement officer. On those misdemeanor charges, she was sentenced to four years in prison and a $4,000 fine.
It would be too much to recount here all the details of the trial, beginning with Caylee’s disappearance in 2008, the subsequent investigation, and all play-by-play of the recent murder trial. What is interesting, though, is that members of the jury, who were all reticent about the acquittal initially, have since come out and detailed that they simply didn’t have enough evidence to convict Anthony of first-degree murder.
In terms of the evidence presented in the case, jurors heard about a chemical analysis of human hair found in the trunk of Casey Anthony’s car, as well as a testing procedure conducted on an air sample from the vehicle’s trunk, which came indicated the presence of chemical compounds suggestive of human decomposition. They also saw evidence of an internet search on Anthony’s computer for how to make and use chloroform, pages from Anthony’s diary, a comical image taken from the computer of Anthony’s boyfriend which involved the use of chloroform to drug a woman, and various items found at the site of Caylee’s remains which prosecution claimed came from Anthony’s residence.
For their part, Casey Anthony’s defense attorneys kept their focus on gaps in forensic evidence presented by the prosecution. They also brought attention to Casey Anthony’s father, who they claimed had sexually abused Casey since she was eight years old, as well as her brother, who was accused of attempting to have sex with her. There had apparently been rumors that he was the father of Caylee, but a paternity test conducted by investigators contradicted that rumor. Because no evidence was ultimately provided for those claims, the defense was not allowed to mention them in its closing arguments.
In our next post, we’ll continue looking at this story.
Source: CBS News, “Casey Anthony to be released Wednesday,” Camille Mann, 7 July 2011.