The murder trial of Casey Anthony — who was tried and acquitted for killing her two-year-old daughter Caylee Anthony — has captivated the American public since Caylee went missing back in 2008. Now, with the finale of Investigation Discovery's three-part series Casey Anthony: An American Murder Mystery, viewers are still wondering: Why is Casey Anthony not in jail?
Why was the now 31, mother-of-one found not guilty in the shocking case that caught the attention of nearly everyone? Keep reading to find out more answers to questions from episode three!
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
MORE: Casey Anthony Predicts What Daughter Caylee Would Be Doing If She Were Alive Today
Casey's defense was able to show that there was reasonable doubt that she could have killed her daughter. There was little physical evidence that linked Casey to the murder of Caylee and while the prosecution team focused on the 911 call in which Caylee's maternal grandmother, Cindy Anthony, said her daughter's car "smelled like a dead body" and that Caylee was missing, the defense focused on asking unanswered questions.
During the murder trial, Casey's defense team — spearheaded by defense lawyer Jose Baez — argued that Caylee had accidentally drowned in the family's pool. Casey's defense argued that her father, George Anthony, disposed of the child's body.
Because the cause of Caylee's death was ruled "undetermined," the jury felt there was reasonable doubt that Casey could have been the killer.
Casey was sentenced to four years in jail, one year for each count she was found guilty of lying to police. However, the judge ruled that she already had credit for the approximately three years previously served, including "good behavior." This left Casey with 12 days to serve before she was released on July 17, 2011.
Caylee's death was ruled a homicide but the medical examiner listed the toddler's cause of death as "undetermined means."
In a recent interview with the Associated Press, Casey stuck with the narrative that Caylee drowned in the pool and that her father disposed of Caylee's body.
"The last time I saw my daughter, I believed she was alive and was going to be okay, and that’s what was told to me. My father told me she was going to be okay. That she was okay," Casey said.
Though this was the account Casey's defense described, it has never been proven, which ultimately led to the jury's decision to acquit.
Caylee's remains were found by former meter reader Roy Kronk. The Orlando utility worker discovered a skull wrapped in a plastic bag and bound with duct tape in a wooded area less than a half-mile away from the Anthony residence on December 11, 2008, six months after Caylee was last seen alive by Cindy Anthony. The skeletal remains were found along with a trash bag, a canvas bag, and a children’s Winnie-the-Pooh blanket.
MORE: Casey Anthony's Brother — 5 Facts to Know About Lee Anthony!
George Anthony's alleged years of sexual abuse were a main subject of Casey's defense. The team alleged that Casey's father had molested her since she was eight years old and claimed that this decade of assault was the reason Casey lied about her daughter's disappearance. They argued Caylee died on June 16, 2008, the date she was last seen alive, and Casey's father helped cover up the death and dispose of the child's remains.
George has denied these allegations on multiple occasions, including in court. Casey has been estranged from her parents since the 2011 trial.
Casey now lives in South Florida with Patrick McKenna, the private detective who was the lead investigator on her defense team. She works for him, helping him do investigative work for his cases. Mckenna is also known for helping to acquit O.J. Simpson, the former NFL player who was charged and later absolved of murdering his wife, Nicole Simpson. Casey also started her own photography business last year — Case Photography LLC — but hasn't posted on the company's Twitter page since August 2016. The page's inactivity seems to be a result of the aftermath of the murder trial, as Casey was fielding tons of questions about the case.
Did Jose Baez and Casey Anthony Have an Affair? Plus More Questions From the ID Documentary Answered
Casey Anthony Reveals She's "Not Dumb Enough" to Have Another Child in New Interview!
Are Casey Anthony's Parents Still Together? Plus Find More About Their Relationship With Their Estranged Daughter
Your life just got exponentially better and more stylish now you've signed up for our newsletter. Fabulousness awaits!