It’s been a decade since Casey Anthony was acquitted of murdering her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, but for one juror, the notorious 2011 case still “haunts him to this day.”
“I think of the case at least once, every single day,” the unidentified male juror told People in a new interview published on Friday, May 21. “It was such a strange summer. I knew that there was public interest in the case, but it wasn’t until after I was sequestered that I realized that the whole world was watching.”
Many people were outraged and in disbelief when Anthony, now 35, walked free ten years ago after the high-profile trial caught international attention. 12 jurors, which consisted of seven women and five men, had to hide from the world and sit through over a month of testimony, examine hundreds of pieces of evidence and hear 91 witnesses take the stand from May to July 2011.
At the end of it, jurors declared Anthony not guilty of murder, manslaughter and abuse charges — but guilty on four counts of lying to police, two of which were dropped. She was released from prison shortly after.
A number of jurors previously said they opted for “not guilty” after all of their deliberations only because the state could not prove how Caylee died.
“Every time I see her face or hear her name, I get a pit in my stomach,” the juror told the outlet while recounting his experience. “It all comes flooding back. I think about those pictures of the baby’s remains that they showed us in court. I remember Casey. I even remember the smell of the courtroom.”
Two-year-old Caylee was last seen on June 16, 2008, but Anthony did not report that her daughter was missing until July 15. Anthony was later arrested on child neglect charges. The toddler’s remains were found and identified in December of 2018, by which point Casey had been charged with first-degree murder, aggravated manslaughter and aggravated child abuse.
During the trial, it was questioned if Caylee’s death was an accident, leading Casey to panic and try to cover it up as the prosecutor argued, or whether the toddler was intentionally killed by her mother.
“I think now if I were to do it over again, I’d push harder to convict her of one of the lesser charges like aggravated manslaughter,” the male juror told People in hindsight. “At least that. Or child abuse. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing, and I didn’t stand up for what I believed in at the time I remember feeling sick every time I saw one of [the jurors’] names on my phone. So, I muted the chat and stopped engaging. It was just too hard.”
The juror admitted he would have “done a lot of things differently” if he got another chance, “but it’s a part of who I am,” he said. “This case will stick with me for the rest of my life.”
As for Anthony’s life after the notorious trial, it appears she will one day be telling her story in greater detail, a source told In Touch exclusively in March 2020. “Casey is writing a detailed and definitive account of her life and the tragedy of losing Caylee and everything that followed.”
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