Casey Anthony not guilty of killing child

July 5, 2011 at 2:36 PM
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ORLANDO, Fla., July 5 (UPI) -- Florida mom Casey Anthony was found not guilty Tuesday in the 2008 death of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee Marie.

The jury in Orlando acquitted Anthony of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and aggravated manslaughter in the death of her child in the summer of 2008.

Anthony was found guilty of four counts of giving false information to law enforcement officers.

For the counts related to her daughter's death, Judge Belvin Perry told Anthony he will "adjudge you to be not guilty" because the jury found her not guilty.

Silence greeted the reading of the verdict. As she stood to hear the verdicts read, Anthony began silently crying and wiping tears away from her cheeks.

After the jury was dismissed, Anthony broke into a smile and hugged her attorneys.

The seven-woman, five-man panel announced its decision on the second day of deliberations. It spent about 11 hours spread over two days going over the case before reaching its verdict.

Anthony is accused of killing Caylee Marie in the summer of 2008. The toddler's remains were found in woods near her family's home in December of that year.

Prosecutors had accused Anthony of killing her daughter by drugging her with chloroform and wrapping her mouth and nose with duct tape. They alleged she kept the body in the trunk of her car, eventually dumping it in the woods.

The mother did all of this, prosecutors alleged, because Caylee was keeping her from a carefree life of boyfriends, cocktails and clubs.

An autopsy did not pinpoint the cause of death and prosecutors had no clear physical evidence tying Anthony to it.

The defense contended the girl drowned in the family swimming pool and was found by her grandfather, George Anthony, a retired homicide detective. He and Casey Anthony panicked and covered up the drowning, the defense said.

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