Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Casey Anthony Found Not Guilty of Murdering Daughter, Resumes Search For Real Killer

Party girl and "tot mom" Casey Anthony, who was on trial for the murder of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee, was found not guilty this afternoon -- to everyone's dismay. The prosecution said Casey smothered Caylee with duct tape on June 16, 2008, drove around for several days with Caylee's body in her car trunk and then dumped the remains in a swamp near the family home. For 31 days Casey told no one about the disappearance of her daughter (instead, she was partying and shopping day and night) and when her mother questioned her about the whereabouts of Caylee, Casey said the child was kidnapped by a woman named Zenaida Gonzalez and was looking for the child on her own. Those were just two of Casey's many lies.
Caylee's skeletal remains were discovered December 11, 2008, by former Orange County meter reader Roy Kronk. Casey Anthony's defense attorneys maintained that Caylee was not murdered at all. They said the child drowned in the Anthony's above-ground pool on July 16, and that Casey Anthony and her father, George Anthony, panicked upon finding her there and covered up the death. George Anthony denied that in his testimony. The defense also attempted to cast suspicion on Kronk, the meter reader. Defense attorneys asserted that he had found Caylee's remains months earlier than he claimed and that he hid them before placing them where they were found. He did that, they claimed, just before notifying authorities in an effort to cash in on the high-profile case. Kronk denied those allegations, according to his attorney. He testified on the stand that after calling police three times in August 2008 to report something suspicious in the woods, a deputy met him at the scene and "chewed me out," telling him he was wasting the county's time. He said he dropped the matter after that until he revisited the scene in December and found Caylee's skull. Prosecutors pointed to Casey Anthony's behavior during the 31 days before Caylee was reported missing as evidence of her guilt. According to testimony, Casey Anthony was not looking frantically for her missing child as she later told police. Instead, she moved out of her parents' home and stayed with her then-boyfriend, Tony Lazzaro. She also got a tattoo saying "Bella Vita" -- Italian for "beautiful life" -- and went shopping, witnesses said. She also partied at Orlando nightclubs and participated in a "hot body" contest at one point, according to testimony.
Despite the mountains of circumstantial evidence put forth by the state -- and not to mention the awe-inspiring closing argument by lead prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick -- the 12 jurors deliberated for less than 11 hours and found Casey not guilty. Nancy Grace's head exploded. The jury did find her guilty of four lesser charges of lying to police. Those charges have a maximum sentence of four years, so with the three years she's already served awaiting trial, Casey is expected to walk free from jail this Thursday after her sentencing. Oh, Florida!

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