Casey Anthony Verdict: Not Guilty

The jury found 25-year-old mother guilty of lying to law enforcement officers

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After 10 hours of deliberation, the jury in the Casey Anthony trial found the 25-year-old Casey Anthony not guilty of first degree murder, not guilty of aggravated manslaughter and not guilty of aggravated child abuse. They did find her guilty of providing false information to a law enforcement officer. Anthony had been accused of murdering her 2-year-old daughter Caylee and had she been found guilty could have faced the death penalty for the crime.

The Associated Press summed up both sides of the case in a report published before the verdict:

Prosecutors argued Monday that Anthony killed her 2-year-old daughter Caylee in June 2008 because the toddler interrupted her carefree partying and love life. The prosecution said the defense's assertion that Caylee's death was an accident made no sense.

Anthony's attorneys say the girl drowned in the family's pool. They have said Anthony panicked and that her father, a former police officer, decided to make the death look like a homicide by placing duct tape over the child's mouth and dumping the body in the woods. George Anthony has denied that.

Broadcast on live television, the 33-day-long trial of the young mother has been called "this generation's O.J. drama." The not guilty verdict surprised even those covering the case closely. Upon hearing the verdict, New York Daily News writer Meena Hartenstein tweeted, "Whole newsroom gasps in unison at the not guilty verdicts for #caseyanthony... OJ deja vu?"

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.