Casey Anthony's murder trial made national headlines from May to July 2011, after the remains of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee were found in a wooded area near Anthony's Orlando home in 2008.
The jury found Anthony guilty of four misdemeanor counts of providing false information to a law enforcement officer, and she was released in July of 2011 after getting credit for time served.
Judge Belvin Perry appeared on NBC's "Today" and told interviewer Savannah Guthrie he experienced "shock" and "disbelief" after reading the not-guilty verdict.
"There was sufficient evidence to sustain a verdict of murder in the first degree in this case."
Perry, the chief judge on Florida’s Ninth Judicial Circuit, earned the name "The Velvet Hammer" on social media during the trial, which was open to television reporters.
"There were two sides to Casey Anthony. There was the side that was before the jury, where she portrayed the role of a mother who had lost a child, someone who was wrongfully accused, and then you could notice the change and transformation in her when the jury went out.
She was very commanding, she took charge of different things, and you could see her sometimes scolding her attorneys."
Perry said the state had better lawyers, and they presented a "great case," but that in the end it was still all circumstantial, no matter how compelling. He credits defense attorney Jose Baez with appealing to the jury with reasonable doubt.
"Mr. Baez was very personable,'' Perry said. "He came across as someone that you would like."
Anthony since had two of four convictions overturned on appeal, and entered bankruptcy proceedings in March of this year.