The Verdict: Casey Anthony Acquitted of Murder, But Is a Liar
The trial of Casey Anthony concluded today with Anthony's shocking not guilty verdict. The 25-year-old, who was facing the death penalty if found guilty, was acquitted of first-degree murder and manslaughter in the case of her two-year-old daughter, Caylee. Anthony was found guilty on four counts of providing false information to law enforcement.
The verdict was reached by a jury of seven women and five men (who declined to speak to the press following their verdict) in the sensational six-week trial that exposed the alleged dark secrets of a dysfunctional Anthony family, which included allegations of incest, a cover-up, and reports of Casey seen partying it up after Caylee went missing.
Casey was charged with seven counts of first degree murder, aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter of a child, and four counts of providing false information to a law enforcement officer in Caylee's disappearance and death.
Prosecutors alleged Casey used chloroform to render her daughter unconscious before suffocating her with duct-tape placed over her mouth and nose. They also alleged Anthony put the child's body in the trunk of her car, although the defense claimed the rotting smell was not a human body, but garbage. Caylee's remains were found in the woods in December 2008.
Anthony's defense maintained the child was not murdered, but drowned in the family's above-ground pool on July 16. Casey and her father, George, panicked after discovering her body and tried to cover up the death, although George denied that when he took the stand.
After the not guilty verdict was read, an emotional Anthony broke down and hugged one of her lawyers. Anthony faces up to four years in state prison for lying to police -- one year for each count. The sentencing has been scheduled for Tuesday, but having already been behind bars for three years, it is unlikely she'll be doing any time on the convictions.
Anthony's parents, Cindy and George seemed stunned when the verdict was read, and proceeded to walk out of the courtroom.
After news of Anthony's verdict broke, the stars took to Twitter to voice their opinion on the unexpected outcome:
Piers Morgan: "Not guilty of murder... but still guilty of being a shockingly bad mother."
Frankie Muniz: "I called that she would be found not guilty weeks ago... everyone said I was wrong..."
Kim Kardashian: "WHAT!!!!???!!!! CASEY ANTHONY FOUND NOT GUILTY!!!! I am speechless!!!"