The honorable Belvin Perry Jr. was thrust into the spotlight in 2011 when it was revealed that the 68-year-old would be the man presiding over the Casey Anthony murder trial. The Florida native became a fan favorite as the nation watched the trial — with people even selling “Judge Perry is my homeboy” t-shirts outside the courthouse.
Judge Perry was one of the many people associated with the case and was interviewed for Investigation Discovery’s 2017 documentary, Casey Anthony: An American Murder Mystery. And now he's back in the spotlight, as Oxygen is airing a three-part special, The Case of: Caylee Anthony, to re-examine the tragic disappearance of toddler Caylee Anthony.
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While the verdict was ultimately decided by a jury — who found Casey not guilty on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, and aggravated manslaughter of a child, there’s no doubt that Judge Perry was at the front lines of the whole ordeal.
Get to know Judge Perry by checking out some interesting facts about him!
He thinks Casey “accidentally” killed her daughter.
In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Judge Perry theorized that Casey may have accidentally killed her daughter after using chloroform.
“There was a possibility that she may have utilized [chloroform] to keep the baby quiet...and just used too much of it,” he said. “That’s just one of the many theories as to how this beautiful young lady tragically met her death.”
During the trial, the persecution argued that Casey drugged her daughter with chloroform and then covered Caylee’s mouth with duct tape to suffocate her. Forensics were ultimately inconclusive.
He doesn’t want to be remembered as “the judge from the Casey Anthony trial.”
Even though, of course, that’s most likely how history will remember him. In a 2014 interview with a local Orlando news agency, he explained, “If I could write what I wanted people to remember me by, it would not be the Casey Anthony case. It was just pure fate I got that case.”
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He now works as a personal-injury attorney.
In his profile for the law firm where he works, he wrote, “Throughout my life, I have tried to give back to the community by serving. I look upon my new career at Morgan & Morgan as another opportunity to serve those in need of redress from wrong doers and to be a voice for the voiceless.”
The Casey Anthony trial wasn’t the first time he got to witness history.
From an early age, he was taught the importance of civil service — as his mother worked as public school teacher, and his father was one the first two African-American police officers to be employed by the Orlando Police Department, and watched segregation collapse as a child in Florida.
Be sure to watch the third part of The Case of: Caylee Anthony on Oxygen at 8 p.m. EST, on May 21.