A jury in Orlando, Florida has unanimously found Casey Anthony, 25, not guilty on murder, manslaughter and child abuse charges.It did find her guilty of the lesser charges of providing false information to law enforcement officers.
Ms. Anthony,who had faced first-degree murder and six other charges, was accused of killing her 2-year-old, daughter, Caylee Marie, in June of 2008. The child’s body was found six months later in a swampy area near the Anthony family home.
Ms. Anthony’s defence claimed that Caylee had drowned in the family swimming pool and that her mother then panicked. It said that Anthony’s father, George, knew about the accident and helped his daughter dispose of the body. It also said that George Anthony, a former police officer, placed the tape over the dead girls face to make it look like murder in order to cover up the failure to report the death. Mr. Anthony denied his daughter’s account.
Prosecutors argued that Anthony, tired of the burden of single motherhood, killed the toddler by using chloroform to knock her out and duct-taped her nose and mouth shut. She then kept her in the car trunk for a month before tossing her body into the woods.
The verdict was met with outrage by some outside the court who denounced it as a miscarriage of justice comparable to OJ Simpson’s acquittal for murder.
Dubbed “the social media trial of the century” by Time magazine, the case generated untold number of tweets, including some from the 9th Judicial Circuit Court itself, where the case was tried. In a sign of the unusual cultural reach of the case, reality TV star Kim Kardashian tweeted Tuesday after the verdict: “WHAT!!!!???!!!! I am speechless.”