Return to Transcripts main page

Jane Velez-Mitchell

Casey Anthony Found Not Guilty

Aired July 05, 2011 - 19:00   ET



JOSE BAEZ, CASEY`S ATTORNEY: A human life lies in the balance. You`re being asked to make the biggest decision of your life. You`re being asked to take someone`s life if you feel the evidence deserves to be.

BELVIN PERRY, JUDGE: It`s been brought to my attention that the jury has reached a verdict.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As to the charge of first-degree murder, verdict as to count one, we, the jury, find the defendant not guilty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s wrong. She got away with it, and you know it. And people are saying that it was OK, she didn`t get away with this that -- that -- I can`t even talk. I`m appalled by this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As to the charge of aggravated child abuse, verdict to count two, we, the jury, find the defendant not guilty.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just a crying shame, a crying shame this is. They call this justice. They say that American flag flies today? It does not. It does anything but fly today. It`s been trampled on today.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As to the charge of aggravated manslaughter of a child, we, the jury, find the defendant not guilty.

BAEZ: There are no winners in this case. Caylee has passed on far, far too soon.

PERRY: As to the charge contained in count one of the indictment, murder in the first-degree, at this time I will adjudge you to be not guilty. Not guilty of the crime. Not guilty.

BAEZ: Casey did not murder Caylee. It`s that simple.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Oh, my gosh, what a shocker. Jane Velez- Mitchell coming to you live from Orlando, Florida, the courthouse behind me. Everybody`s jaws are still hanging on the desk. A monumental, stunning, mind-blowing, jaw-dropping day here in Orlando. Casey Anthony found not guilty of murdering her daughter.

Here it is, the moment that shook all of us to our core. You have to see it for yourself to fully appreciate the shock of it all. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As to the charge of first-degree murder, verdict as to count one, we, the jury, find the defendant not guilty. So say we all, dated Orlando, Orange County, Florida, on this fifth day of July, 2011, signed foreperson.

As to the charge of aggravated child abuse, verdict as to count two, we, the jury, find the defendant not guilty. So say we all, dated at Orlando, Orange County, Florida, this fifth day of July, 2011, signed foreperson.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I was reporting live on the air when it went down, but we are here with a woman who was sitting right behind -- right behind where it was all going, feet from Casey Anthony herself, Sarah Carden, who is a producer on our show, "Dr. Drew."

Sarah, you were right there. Tell us what happened. What did you see?

SARAH CARDEN, PRODUCER, "DR. DREW": Jane, I was literally ten feet away from Casey. She walked in. She was so tense. I have never seen her so tense. I could literally see her face twitching. She was getting blotchy. She was biting her nails.

And I am telling you, you could hear a pin drop in this courtroom. We were in there for about ten minutes, waiting for the jury to come in. The sheriffs had yelled at us not to make a sound, not to make a facial expression. We sat there for ten minutes, and I`m telling you, it was silent.

When the jury came in, Casey started crying when they read the verdict. It was like a sense of relief for her. She was weeping. She walked up in front of the judge. I was right behind her, and she was just so relieved.

Her parents, however, they kept their calm. They didn`t show a lot of emotion. You know, George was squeezing Cindy Anthony`s knee, and he was very stoic. Cindy, however, I noticed her when she walked in. She was shaking like a leaf. She was holding a tissue, and her hand was just shaking. They actually left the courtroom earlier than everyone else in there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right after the verdict.

CARDEN: Right after the verdict. And I was actually one of the last ones to leave, because I was in the front row. And when I was leaving, I heard this wail, this absolutely guttural sob. And I turned around, and it had come from Casey. And it was just this -- all of this pent-up emotion released, and she screamed. And it reverberated off the walls, and her attorneys enveloped her in this big group hug. She was in the center, and it was really unbelievable, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and you gave me a rendition of that scream, and you said, "I`m not going to do it on the air," because you`d sound like a mad woman. It was that guttural. It was kind of like a primal scream. We all can imagine what that was. It was after the cameras were off.

Now Jose Baez was very somber, and he seemed even sad at his press conference immediately following this extraordinary verdict that is obviously a big victory for him. But afterwards, the defense team closed down a local restaurant across the street for a very private party. Here`s the contrast. Check him out first.


BAEZ: While we`re happy for Casey, there are no winners in this case. Caylee has passed on far, far too soon. And what my driving force has been for the last three years has been always to make sure that there has been justice for Caylee and Casey.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Christian, describe the party the defense team is having inside.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Actually, we left the courthouse. Everyone over there was devastated after they heard the verdict. We had to go into the MAC machine. As soon as we came around the corner, we heard cheers. That wasn`t from me. So turned around, and there they were, starting to pour their champagne, getting their glasses up to celebrate.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that`s Jose Baez, Cheney Mason?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you heard cheers and you heard...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Heard them cheering.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... celebration?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I want to go straight out to our Jean Casarez, who spent some time in that party. Jean, kudos to your scoop. I was outside talking to the people out there who were livid and furious, and I saw you go right in there. What happened?

JEAN CASAREZ, CORRESPONDENT, TRUTV`S "IN SESSION": Well, it`s not over yet, Jane. The defense attorneys, their families and close associates are still in the restaurant behind me, Bistro 360.

And I want everybody to see the crowd of people that are still here. They want to meet the defense attorneys, want to talk with them. The police presence is very strong here. No one is allowed to even go close to the door.

But let me tell you, Jane and everybody else, exactly what was happening when I spent probably an hour and a half in there today. It is a celebration. It is a celebration, they say, for justice, they say for innocence, from someone who did not commit crimes of a great magnitude.

There are seven flat-screen televisions in this restaurant, and they were all positioned and still are right now to the local coverage of this case. And whenever there would be the coverage of the verdict or the defense press conference, it would become very still and very quiet in this restaurant, as they were drinking their champagne and would listen to what the television monitors had to say. And they...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to jump in. Go ahead.

CASAREZ: When the verdict was announced, when the press conference was done, they would cheer amongst each other, because they believe that victory had come to them on this day of a verdict.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. So that was the replay. They were watching the replay of their own victory, essentially. They cheered every time they played it. We will play again and again tonight.

Let me ask you quickly, Jean, how soon could Casey be out?

CASAREZ: Thursday. Thursday, and that`s what they`re pushing for. That`s what they want. They realize she has been found guilty on four misdemeanors. They want the sentencing of that to be concurrent, meaning that all four counts would be served at the same time. That would be, under the law, a maximum of one year.

They want the judge to sentence her to time served to allow her to be a free woman on Thursday when this preceding right across the street at the Orange County courthouse has concluded.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my God, they want -- my ears are -- they want her to be a free woman on Thursday? Is that what you`re saying?

CASAREZ: That is what they definitely want. They believe these are low-level misdemeanors, that there should be a sentencing of time served under the circumstances, and she be processed and then released. That`s what they will argue. That is what they`re fighting for.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I want to go -- go quickly...

CASAREZ: Rosalyn Boleyn (ph), their mitigation expert, was in that room. She has been preparing for a penalty phase. Witnesses were all lined up, ready to go, ready to take the stand. That`s not needed now.


CASAREZ: Since there`s been a "not guilty" verdict.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Thank you. Excellent work out there, Jean Casarez.

I want to go to a man who has kind of symbolized this case with his cowboy hat. Bounty hunter Leonard Padilla, who at one point bailed Casey out then said, "Never mind" when she refused to cooperate.

Your reaction? Were you shocked? And how do you feel about it?

LEONARD PADILLA, BOUNTY HUNTER: When I was sitting there and I had heard the verdict, I was obviously was like, wow, what is going on here? I thought they`re reading the wrong line; the clerk has got the wrong list. The judge is going to stop her and he`s going to say, "No, you`re on the wrong line."

And then I got to thinking about the situation, and you have to understand, you know, a thing like this. You know, the prosecutor maybe shouldn`t have laughed at Baez. He shouldn`t have made mirth. One thing leads to another. And the next thing is the jury goes in, and they say, "Hey, we don`t understand this. We don`t want to deal with that. They didn`t meet their burden."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait. Are you saying that, when in closing, Jose Baez said "that laughing man over there," because the prosecutor was sitting back and kind of like smiling, you`re saying that that might have angered the jurors to the point where they identified more with Jose Baez as sort of the underdog?

PADILLA: America don`t like the underdog picked on. He was being stomped on by the prosecution. Everybody thought that he was down. Linda Burdick had done an outstanding closing. I`ve never seen a better closing in America.

And yet he rose to the occasion, even without having the last word. So what was it that turned the jury off? It wasn`t the evidence, not understanding it. It had to be something that took place in that courtroom.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I`ll you what I think it was.

PADILLA: What was it?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think they put the defense table right across from the jury. I have never seen that before. Usually, the defense table is here. OK? But they had it right here because they had so many members of the defense team that they couldn`t accommodate it here. So they were eye to eye. The jurors and Casey Anthony were eye to eye for six weeks.

And I think it`s very hard to stare at somebody for six weeks and then convict them of something that could put them to death. I honestly feel subconsciously they started to soften up because they were staring at her.

Keep it right here on HLN.

PADILLA: The Stockholm Syndrome.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stockholm Syndrome, yes. Nancy Grace joins us right at the top of the hour. She`s got the very latest coverage on today`s stunning, stunning shocking Casey Anthony verdict. Not guilty on all the serious counts.

And we`re taking your calls: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297. The Casey Anthony trial ends with a bang.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As to the charge of first-degree murder, verdict as to count one, we, the jury, find the defendant not guilty. So say we all, dated the...




VELEZ-MITCHELL: This lady particularly, I`ve gotten to know her. How upset are you right now?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m crying. It`s not right, Jane. I told you this yesterday. It`s wrong she got away with it, and you know it. And people are saying that it was OK, she didn`t get away with this, that -- that -- I can`t even talk. I`m appalled by this. Look at my hands.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Does everybody agree?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do. I guess because it wasn`t posted on her Facebook page, and it wasn`t on social media, they didn`t have it on tape, it didn`t happen. Was her daughter`s life an imagination also? I`m shocked.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just a -- just a crying shame, an absolute crying shame this is. They call this justice? They say the American flag flies today? It does not. It does anything but fly today. It`s been trampled on today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They say justice does work and that`s what it is. It`s kind of like the O.J. Simpson case. The same situation.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: O.J. No. 2. That`s what you`re hearing here, O.J. No. 2.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: O.J. No. 2, the reaction here in Orlando. I`ve been out there on the streets. Extraordinary. People are unhappy. They`re upset. They don`t feel justice was served. I was on the ground today, and the opinion is virtually unanimous. Everyone is comparing it to O.J. And they feel it`s a miscarriage of justice. That magnitude.

Now, I want to go to Mark Nejame. You and I have been following this trial together. What is your reaction as a prominent Orlando attorney?

MARK NEJAME, ORLANDO ATTORNEY: I was as shocked as anybody and still surprised. The fact of the matter, though, is that as we look at it, the jury absolutely made their mind up early. Now, we read all the things that were going on. They weren`t looking at Casey Anthony; they weren`t taking notes. They got up today in a jovial mood as they went to deliberate.

We were interpreting all of these because we viewed the strength of what we thought was the state`s case and thought that it was going to be a relatively quick first-degree or something.

I`ll tell you, I`ve been a critic of the defense strategy, and obviously, the jury disagreed with me. And it was not just a victory; it was a solid victory for the defense.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and nobody from the defense actually stood up and gloated before the cameras, but Casey`s lawyer, Cheney Mason, had some very harsh words for the media. Check this out. Because this was really something else.


CHENEY MASON, CASEY`S ATTORNEY: I hope that this is a lesson to those of you who have indulged in media assassination for years, bias, and prejudice and incompetent talking heads.

My colleagues from coast to coast and border to border have condemned this whole process of lawyers getting on television and talking about cases that they don`t know a damn thing about. And don`t have the experience to back up their words or the law to do it. Now you`ve learned a listen.

And we appreciate the jury. Those of you that have been objective and professional, we like you. Others, we won`t be talking to again.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Humble in victory. Well, he`s having his moment, and let him have it. I go to Frank Weller. Frank, are you on the line with me?

CALLER: Yes, I am, Jane. I can hear you fine.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. You had a moment with the prosecutor, Jeff Ashton, in the elevator. Tell us -- you don`t have very much time. Tell us what he said, the big boys.

CALLER: OK. Well, this morning on the way down, he said, he`s going to -- he`s going to quit. He`s had enough. You know, 20 years. He also said at that time -- the verdict hadn`t been read. It was this morning. He said that, you know, the state has done everything it can do. They laid it all out, and it was just what it is, what it is. And we`ve done the best we can.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I`ve got to go to Stacey Honowitz. You are a Florida prosecutor. What went wrong, Stacey?

STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: Well, I`ve said on several occasions that you can never read jurors. Every single time we`ve had people on trying to discuss jurors, you never know what they`re going to do.

And quite frankly, I think everyone is stunned and shocked because of what we felt was overwhelming evidence, especially after the prosecutors gave their closing argument. And especially after Jose got up and gave an opening statement and didn`t have back up. Made promises that he didn`t back up in court.

My feeling is, after hearing an alternate juror speak, this is what he said. He said that they didn`t believe anything George Anthony had to say. And so they believed it was an accident. They believe the defense`s theory: it was an accident, and George covered it up.

He didn`t talk about forensics; he didn`t talk about anything else. He didn`t talk about the theory. He didn`t talk about the 31 days where she played around and partied and had a great life. He talked about George Anthony being deceptive. And I don`t know. That`s the alternate juror. I have to feel like the jurors all felt that way, because they didn`t come back on any kind of murder charge or manslaughter charge.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have to say this. Here`s where I think the case was lost. And it was lost a long time ago. It was lost when Roy Kronk called the cops and said, "I see something suspicious," and the cop berated him. Check it out.


ROY KRONK, FOUND CAYLEE`S BODY: He came down to the water line, did this, did this, and walked back up the bank, slipped on the mud and then chewed me out for a half an hour. That`s exactly what happened.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I want to go -- do we have Aphrodite Jones out there, my buddy, host of "True Crime"? Aphrodite, they lost the case when they didn`t get the evidence before it disintegrated.

APHRODITE JONES, HOST, INVESTIGATION DISCOVERY`S "TRUE CRIME": Well, that`s true, Jane. There wasn`t -- you know, we had sick months that went by.

But the big thing here is common sense of the jury. Could they wrap their head around the fact that there was no cause of death? They had no - - nothing tangible to go on. There was no...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: More on the other side. Affie, hang in there.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: I was a little shocked when I saw this. You had something written on the other side. I want to show that. It says, "Go have fun, Casey."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`re celebrating in there because a woman killed her daughter. And they don`t have enough evidence, and she got out.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now she`s talking about the defense, that`s having a party that`s still going on just across the street from where we are at a restaurant where the defense often gathers.

Now, less than eight minutes after the verdicts were read, the judge thanked the jury for their service. And now take a look. Watch Casey and her parents during this crucial time. Unbelievable.


PERRY: I tell you, it was very important that, if we believe in that constitutional provision, that provision that provides a right to trial by jury, that it was important for people to serve, no matter what that sacrifice would be.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, obviously George and Cindy had a slew of mixed emotions. They left very quickly after the verdict. Their attorney, Mark Lippman, has just issued this statement.

It reads in part, "Despite the baseless defense chosen by Casey Anthony, the family believes that the jury made a fair decision."

And by the way, Mr. Lippman will be here on ISSUES Thursday night, right after Casey`s sentencing. We will bring you all of that here on ISSUES.

I want to go out to Judge Larry Seidlin. This family, obviously walking such a difficult line. They are trying to protect their daughter, and they must be very happy over the verdict. But yet, they made a point in their statement to say, despite the baseless defense, the baseless defense, meaning George is not acknowledging any swimming pool accident, any molestation, any cover-up, nothing, Judge.

LARRY SEIDLIN, FORMER FLORIDA JUDGE: It`s a -- it`s a split verdict for the parents. They lost their granddaughter, which is sickening, but now their daughter is free. Their daughter could have even been released today. The defense attorney could have requested her released today. And I feel she`ll be released on Thursday.

The defense attacked George Anthony in many ways. One of them was that he sexually molested Casey as a child, as a 7- or 8-year-old and prior to that.

But he has to look at the big picture, the father, because the judge didn`t allow that in the closing argument by Baez. He said, "No, I`m not allowing it. There`s no evidence."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ve got to say, judge, they are happy, even though their own daughter threw them under the bus. They still support her. The ultimate enablers and co-dependants. And I say that with all the love in the world. There`s a lot of people suffering from co-dependency in the world. And that`s when you don`t know where your problem ends and another person`s problem begins. And you`re enmeshed.

I want to go to Susan Constantine. You`re a top-flight jury consultant, body language expert. What do you make of the jury`s decision?

SUSAN CONSTANTINE, JURY CONSULTANT: The jury`s decision, I think, boils right down to the credibility of the witnesses. And when those jurors got together, and they went in that back room, they just didn`t believe George Anthony. We heard this kind of leak out through one of their alternates. You know, "We just didn`t believe him."

And I remember being on one of the shows here, saying George Anthony gave off indicates that would seem suspicious, which we call an Othello (ph) air. It`s when somebody appears to be suspicious, but they`re not; they`re very believable.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The Achilles heel in the case, George Anthony.



JOSE BAEZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR CASEY ANTHONY: A human life lies in the balance. You`re being asked to make the biggest decision of your life. You`re being asked to take someone`s life if you feel the evidence deserves it.

JUDGE BELVIN PERRY, PRESIDING OVER CASEY ANTHONY TRIAL: It`s been brought to my attention that the jury has reached a verdict.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As to the charge of first degree murder, verdict as to count one, we the jury find the defendant not guilty.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She got away with it and you know it. And people are saying that it was ok, she didn`t get away with this, that -- I can`t even talk. I`m appalled by this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As to the charge of aggravated child abuse, verdict as to count two, we the jury find the defendant not guilty.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just a crying shame. An absolute crying shame this is. They call this justice? They say the American flag flies today? It does not. It does anything but fly today. It`s been tramped upon today.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As to the charge of aggravated manslaughter of a child, we the jury find the defendant not guilty.

BAEZ: There are no winners in this case. Caylee has passed on far, far too soon.

PERRY: As to the charge contained in count one of the indictment, murder in the first degree, at this time, I will adjudge you to be not guilty. Not guilty of the crime, not guilty.

BAEZ: Casey did not murder Caylee. It`s that simple.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As to the charge of first degree murder, verdict as to count one, we the jury find the defendant not guilty.

So say we all this stated at Orlando, Orange County, Florida, on the 5th day of July, 2011, signed foreperson.

As to the charge of aggravated child abuse, verdict as to count two, we the jury find the defendant not guilty. So say we all, stated at Orlando, Orange County, Florida, this 5th day of July, 2011, signed foreperson.

As to the charge of aggravated manslaughter of a child, verdict as to count three, we the jury find the defendant not guilty, so say we all stated at Orlando, Orange County, Florida, this 5th day of July, 2011, signed foreperson.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: I don`t know about you, but I was shocked. I was like what? Not guilty, not guilty, not guilty. After three years of mystery, accusations, ugly family feuds, heated courtroom battles, it was all over in under 11 hours of deliberation.

I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, coming to you from the Casey Anthony courthouse. It`s right behind me, ok, here in Orlando, Florida. It`s hot, it was really hot out there because people are mad out there. I was down on the street.

She`s only been found guilty of the four charges of lying to police. She could be out by Thursday. The she I`m talking about, Casey Anthony. Now, I was on the air reporting live as the verdict came down. But I`ve got to tell you, Aphrodite Jones, star of "True Crime" on Investigation Discover, you were inside the courtroom, describe. Tell us, bring us there. The whole world wants to be there. What was it like?

APHRODITE JONES, HOST, "TRUE CRIME": Jane, it was silent, it was like absolute tension beyond belief. The jurors filed in. They were quiet, they were solemn, they never looked at Casey. Honestly, when Judge Perry started to read what their verdict form said, there was no -- everybody was poker-faced. We had no idea.

And as the clerk read that she was not guilty in murder of the first degree, I want to tell you, my jaw dropped and so did others, even though we were told not to make any facial expressions. It was jaw-dropping.

And Casey, she looked surprised somewhat. And as she started to clutch Jose Baez`s hands when the second time it came back not guilty, not guilty again third time on all three most important counts, that she did not -- they did not find her guilty of killing her daughter, she started to weep. And that continued, Jane, after the jury left and the judge left the bench.

She was crying, holding Jose Baez. He was having his arms around her. The defense team was sobbing. It was dramatic and shocking at the same time. Frankly, I found it horrifying that we have a system in America that in this case, I believe failed justice.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Well, a lot of people agree with you.

Another, I think, a huge factor -- I think a huge factor in Casey`s acquittal. I think she became a celebrity. I mean, when she was out on bail, do you remember seeing the video? She couldn`t go anywhere in Orlando without getting absolutely mobbed by photographers.

Remember this scene? When she leaves with Jose Baez and she is swarmed, swarmed by photographers. It looks like paparazzi going after some kind of celebrity.

Now, I want to go to Casey Jordan, criminologist, because I think that was a huge factor. You and I know it`s very hard to convict a celebrity of anything. Look at O.J. Simpson -- the original case. Look at Michael Jackson, acquitted on all counts in the child molestation. Look at Robert Blake, you know, "Baretta"? Ok, acquitted.

So do you think it`s the celebrity factor, plus she`s an attractive young woman? Take it away.

CASEY JORDAN, CRIMINOLOGIST: Well, ok, you`ve got to admit she was never a celebrity before the media made her into one. And that`s what`s a little bit bothersome to me. Are we in a whole new era of trials where we take just ordinary defendants and turn them into celebrities? And this is a double-edged sword, Jane. We`re working for the media. We may be part of the problem.

The fact of the matter is there`s something about Casey Anthony which is absolutely fascinating. It`s like we`re looking at a new species of human when we watch her. We were fascinated by her behavior, her lying, her confabulation, those 31 days. We had never seen anyone quite like her. So she did grab our attention. We fed the public`s hunger for coverage of this case.

But in the end, maybe the jury really was afraid to convict somebody. And I have to tell you I happen to think that they really wanted to go home. They have to live themselves.

If they are going to rush to judgment or come to a decision without truly deliberating and I don`t see how they could have truly deliberated in 10 hours, you have to wonder did they just think I could go home and make sure I didn`t put anyone to death today. And that is what the media coverage and celebrity does.

By her being an attractive young woman, we know that no jury wants to put anyone to death who has gained celebrity status or is young and attractive. So that could have played into their decision-making process in a very sub-conscious way.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jeff Brown, criminal defense attorney, why do you think this happened? Why do you think all the great legal minds out there are shocked?

JEFF BROWN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think there`s two reasons.

The first reason is that they considered George as having some role. (INAUDIBLE) juror said George was -- they felt George was involved, they felt the family was involved. That sickens me because to be able to consider something like that you have to have some evidence. They considered something where there was no evidence for, so that bothers me.

But I think the real reason is they never bought the motive that the government sold. The government said well, she wanted to go out partying. I think the better motive in this case was that she never wanted this child. There was a witness who said they talked about her being put up for adoption, that being Caylee.

And I think that there was a big rift and a big fight between the mother, Cindy and Casey over Caylee. I think that was a motive that they could have sold. I think the government picked the wrong motive and it came back to bite them. I think the jurors never really believed that it could be explained as to why this seemingly good mother would all of a sudden do such an atrocious act.

And I think the real answer was she never wanted this child and she was fighting with Cindy all along about how to raise her and who should raise her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I have to tell you. We have some breaking news and this is very, very disturbing. The attorney for Cindy and George tells us that they are getting death threats. And he says he got a fax warning them to beware of violent action by people who are original members of the search parties who went out looking for little Caylee.

And he says -- this is Mark Lippman, the attorney for Cindy and George. They are with their families right now. So that`s certainly not the way to respond to this. But there is so much anger out there.

I was out there on the street. And I have to tell you, people are furious. They are saying justice was not served. They`re saying hey, you get your kids taken away from you for tapping them on the shoulder if they`re out of control, and then this woman goes out and in their opinion, the people I talked to, commits murder, and no consequences. There`s a sense that justice isn`t blind.

And I`ve got to say, I don`t think justice is blind in today`s society. We talk about superstar justice. You could say whether it`s Lindsay Lohan or any of the other superstars who never seem to suffer for anything they do.

And we`re told we live in a celebrity culture. And I think that actually, I want you to take a look at what`s going on here. Is this, by the way, video of what we saw right after the verdict? I believe it is. I believe I was actually standing there.

I was standing there in that crowd and I`ve got to tell you, those people are upset. They are very, very angry.

I think a couple of things went wrong with the prosecution. First of all, I think they may have overcharged. I saw this with the Michael Jackson child molestation case.

I mean Jose Baez actually made this point when he said in his closing argument that the prosecution overcharged. In fact, listen to it.


BAEZ: They have the right and the ability to charge her with whatever inappropriate acts she may be guilty of, but they do not have the right to overcharge her of murder or manslaughter or aggravated child abuse when there is no so much evidence of it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mark Nejame, your reaction?

MARK NEJAME, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It`s a common tactic for the state to overcharge and it`s led to a lot of acquittals because of overcharging.

I don`t see an overcharge here. There were only three counts. All the lessers were simply subsumed in the greater charges. I don`t think that that`s the reason the jury came back with a not guilty. I think that what Susan said and you discussed earlier, what you heard from this other alternate, it sounds like if that`s what the rest of them end up saying, they evaluated everything and they thought there was reasonable doubt.

I don`t think the charges in and of themselves had anything to do with it. And I don`t solely it was because it`s a death penalty case. They could have gone with counts two or three or the lessers, which were not death penalty.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, when we come back, we`re going to test another theory, because I think that the prosecution was caught flat-footed because Jose Baez pulled the rug out from under them in opening statements by admitting to all the lies. And then they kept arguing the lies even though he had admitted to the lies.

We`re going to talk about that.

Keep it right here on HLN.

Nancy Grace joining us at the top of the hour with the very latest coverage of today`s stunning, stunning not guilty verdict for Casey Anthony. Unbelievable.



VINNIE POLITAN, HLN HOST: What was on your mind at the end of this case?

RUSSELL HUEKLER, ALTERNATE JUROR IN CASEY ANTHONY TRIAL (via telephone): I agree with their verdict whole heartedly.

POLITAN: And tell me why tonight, Russ.

HUEKLER: First of all, when the prosecution did not prove their case. The big question that was not answered, you know, how did Caylee die? I think there was probably a lot of discussion that it was probably a horrific accident that dad and Casey covered up. And unfortunately it did snowball and got away from them.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was an alternate juror saying basically they didn`t feel the state had proven their case which a lot of the top legal experts totally shocked.

But I have to go out to Jeff Brown. I think -- I said this at the very beginning. Jose Baez pulled the rug out from under the prosecution because in his opening, he admitted that she was a liar. He admitted that there was no Zanny. He admitted that there was no job. And then it seemed like they stayed on the old script and spent a lot of time proving that she lied about Zanny and lied about the job.

I thought wait a second, you`re going by the old script. The script has changed now that they`ve admitted that. Go ahead.

BROWN: Yes, they didn`t adapt, you know. I think that you`re right. I think he caught them off-guard by coming out from the beginning and saying look, she`s a liar and she lied.

And I think you`re right. They got caught off-guard and then they still went ahead with the case that they were planning on proving and you know, you have to adapt at a trial. You`ve got to make some changes. And they certainly didn`t make that one.

And I think during this trial, they should have realized that they`re having a tough time proving motive. And they never did. They didn`t go back to it and that -- you know, this is going to be the Achilles` heel that we spoke of.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know, we can learn a lot from this case and I spoke to a lot of people outside -- to one woman who blames herself because she`s Pinellas County where the jury was selected and she kind of got out of jury duty. Now she`s saying wow, I should have gone to jury duty because I`m very upset about this verdict. Check this out.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cindy, you are from Pinellas County, the very county that the jurors came from. You told me you wish you had been a juror so you could have hung this. Tell me about that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Quite a while ago, they summons me, I believe it was probably for this trial, little did I know, did anybody know that`s where they were taking the jurors from Pinellas. But I believe I was summoned for this trial and I wiggled my way out like many people do.

And anyway, now I wish I had been on because I believe I could have been the hung juror because I do not believe any justice whatsoever was done for poor little Caylee. I`m an RN and I just feel like it`s just -- the whole thing is bogus.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Judge Larry Seidlin, people are complaining, they`re furious about this verdict and yet so many people try to wiggle out of jury duty like that woman who now regrets it. Your thoughts as a judge?

JUDGE LARRY SEIDLIN, PRESIDED OVER ANNA NICOLE SMITH CASE: People have a responsibility. The bedrock of our jurisprudence depends on people, when they get a notice to serve as a juror, they must serve. We must have a cross section of our whole society serving as a juror. It can`t just be the middle class, the lower class. It must be every socio-economic group.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. You`re making a very good point.

SEIDLIN: I was one of the only voices who said she was going to walk, Jane. You and I always talked about it. And I was proven right --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I will hand that to you. I will hand that to you.

SEIDLIN: Well, thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me go to Sarah in Vermont. You`re question or thought Sarah; you`ve been waiting very patiently. Sarah.

SARAH, VERMONT (via telephone): hi, Jane. I`m just as outraged as everybody else on this verdict. Do you think that it`s possible that George and Cindy were in cahoots with Jose Baez to allow him to make up stories such as incest and other lies in order to confuse the jury and add doubt?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, I want to go to Casey Jordan. We still have Casey Jordan, your thoughts on that?

JORDAN: Yes, I`m right here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Because it seemed like there was some collusion. Go ahead Casey.

JORDAN: Listen, I had my moments, especially when Cindy got on the stand and was asked about doing these searches and copped to doing those searches. And Jose Baez clearly knew that she was going to admit searching for chloroform and the state was caught by surprise.

I was very surprised when Lee (SIC) got on the stand and was never asked if he molested his daughter, which they laid out and cried real tears along with Casey simultaneously. I think there was a lot of backroom horse-trading deals going on between this family and the defense.

But I don`t think they were in collusion. I don`t think they foresaw this verdict, to be honest. And I also think this family is destroyed and will never be able to recover from all of the pain that they`ve had to suffer through this trial. So I think if we have any kindness in our heart, we will let George and Cindy and Lee go in peace and try to rebuild their lives without speculating they had a hand in any kind of cover-up.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, state attorney Lawson Lamar, by the way Jeff Ashton who says he`s going to retire, did not speak. Linda Drane-Burdick - - obviously they have to be devastated by this. They put their heart and soul into it. They did not speak.

The boss spoke -- and I`ve got to say, I think the main reason why the prosecution lost is confusion. I`ve always said it. In confusion, there`s reasonable doubt. In confusion, there is reasonable doubt. And the defense confused the heck out of all of us.

We`ll be right back. Stay with us.



LAWSON LAMAR, STATE ATTORNEY, ORANGE AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES: So much of the angst and taxpayer expense in this case could have been avoided if others had not succumbed to the temptation provided by quick notoriety. We think that justice is best served when counsel does not render public opinions on matters in litigation.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was big boss state attorney Lawson Lamar, making a pretty obvious dig at the defense team. That is the video of Jeff Ashton, the prosecutor in this case, one of them; but one of the most notable, one of two most notable, shaking his head. He`s got to be devastated. Look at that. Look at that.

I mean, you got to feel for him. He gave it his all. A caller told us that he said that he was going to retire and Wes (ph) is now confirming that Jeff Ashton has decided to retire on the heels of this shocking, shocking, shocking not guilty verdict on all the serious charges for Casey Anthony.

She could be out by Thursday, people, the day after tomorrow. Now, I want to say, this just gives you an idea of how intense people are about this. Facebook has put up a porch light, 9:00 p.m. Tonight, put on your porch light, in honor of little Caylee. Every time it is refreshed, 10,000 people add on to the porch light and half a million people have now committed to do the porch light.

That says something, Susan Constantine. It is powerful.

But getting back to why this not guilty verdict, we`re talking about confusion. Sometimes we walk out of court, our head is spinning. What the heck they were talking about for so long, I don`t know what it was about anymore. In confusion there is reasonable doubt, is there not?

SUSAN CONSTANTINE, JURY ANALYST: Absolutely. And then there was so much confusion about the evidence, the forensic evidence, the dysfunctional family, who do they believe? There are so many lies when it really got down to it, and they got into that room, they didn`t know what to do and who to believe at this point.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In the post verdict presser, Jose Baez praised the justice system. Listen.


BAEZ: Casey did not murder Caylee. It is that simple. And today our system of justice has not dishonored her memory by a false conviction.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. That`s his side of the story. But we have to congratulate him. He argued a good case. He`s now the most prominent lawyer in America at this moment in time.

Suzanne, Kansas, a quick question or thought, Suzanne.

SUZANNE, KANSAS (via telephone): Hi, Jane. I was wondering, Jose`s opening said that Casey admitted that the baby drowned accidentally. That means she knew this whole time that the baby was dead. And yet she still let everybody search and search and search for thousands of dollars that the state of Florida paid. Is she liable for that?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Good question. Is she liable for all of that? Mark Nejame?

NEJAME: That all remains to be seen. We don`t really know what she said. We have to believe that exactly what her lawyers argued is what she told them. That`s what they`re supposed to do.

Remember, she`s one of the most despised people in the world. At least in America right now. The Constitution worked. The reality of it is that Jose Baez and Cheney Mason, whoever else, they took an underdog and they pressed on. And the reality of it is that all those issues will get evaluated later. The fact of the matter is that people are unhappy with it, but jurors --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. People are unhappy with it. More when we come right back.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here are my final thoughts. Why was this woman found not guilty of murder? Well, I was thinking about it. I think, you know, everything I know about human nature says that human beings are not rational. They don`t think really in a linear fashion. They think they`re motivated by their intellect, but really we`re mostly motivated by our subconscious. And 90 percent of communication is nonverbal.

This young woman sat eyeball to eyeball with them, these jurors, for six weeks and that had an impact. The idea of sending that person that they had seen to possible death, I think, just proved too much. But, you know what, if she did kill Caylee, her judgment is to come. She`s going to have to live with herself for the rest of her life. She may be celebrating right now, but she will ultimately pay.

Nancy Grace is up next.