The judge presiding over the Casey Anthony trial discussed the not-guilty verdict handed in by jurors for the first time on Monday’s “Today” show.
Judge Belvin Perry said in an interview with Savannah Guthrie he was surprised about the jury’s verdict. Perry described Anthony as a woman who was in control and was aware of what she wanted in the trial.
“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,” Perry said.
Perry called Anthony “commanding” and noted, from where he sat as a judge, he could “see her sometimes scolding her attorneys.”
Perry’s “Today” interview provides an inside glimpse into what happened between Anthony and her attorneys while also discussing the course of the trial. When Anthony’s attorneys were contemplating a deal that would have Anthony plead guilty to aggravated manslaughter, Perry said he could hear Anthony yelling and cursing at her lawyers and becoming so distraught that one of her lawyers thought she may be unable to proceed with the trial.
In regard to the not-guilty verdict rendered by the jury, Perry was as shocked as the nation that followed the trial. Anthony was charged with first-degree murder for the death of her two-year-old daughter, Caylee Anthony. On July 15, 2008, Anthony’s grandmother, Cindy Anthony, reported her granddaughter was missing for 31 days and noted a suspicious smell coming from her daughter’s car.
Anthony’s attitude and disregard for her daughter’s disappearance led many to believe she had killed her daughter. Cindy reported to police that her daughter told her several stories about where Caylee was before saying she had not seen the 2-year-old for weeks. Anthony also told police several different stories about Caylee’s disappearance. Caylee’s remains were found in the woods near the family’s home, and Casey Anthony was later charged with first-degree murder.
Anthony was found not guilty of first degree murder but was found guilty for four different misdemeanors, including providing false information to police, and was released from prison in July 2011 for time served during the trial.
Perry said he was “shocked” by the verdict handed in by the jurors, saying, “There was sufficient evidence to sustain a verdict of murder in the first degree in this case.” Perry believed the prosecutors had effectively presented their case for convicting Anthony of first-degree murder but noted the circumstantial nature of the evidence against her as the main reason why she was found not guilty.
The video of Belvin Perry’s “Today” interview with Savannah Guthrie can be viewed below.