Casey Anthony was sentenced Thursday morning to four years in jail, minus time served, for four counts of lying to police about the death of her daughter, Caylee Anthony. Casey Anthony was found not guilty on Wednesday of causing the 2-year-old’s death.
Casey Anthony was acquitted on all charges in the death of Caylee Anthony, but found guilty of not telling the truth when interviewed by police about the toddler’s dissappearance. Anthony told police that Caylee Anthony had been kidnapped by a nanny, a story that later proved to be completely untrue.
Chief Judge Belvin Perry sentenced Casey Anthony to the maximum of four years on the charges of lying to police. However, Anthony could be released by late July or early August due to the time she has already served since 2008. Casey Anthony’s sentencing also includes a $1,000 fine for each charge of lying to police officials.
Anthony’s defense team had asked that the four counts of lying to police should be combined into one count because all of them happened during the same interrogation session on July 16, 2008. However, the prosecution argued there was “a temporal break between the lies” that sent police “on a wild goose chase” and so they should be counted separately.
Casey Anthony did not report her daughter as missing for over 30 days after the 2-year-old vanished. When the toddler’s disappearance was finally reported, Anthony told police she had been kidnapped by a non-existent nanny. She also supported her story with other lies that were later disproved by police authorities.
Casey Anthony’s defense team reserved the right to appeal on the charges of lying to police during the sentencing hearing. Anthony has 30 days to file an appeal. Judge Belvin Perry scheduled a hearing for August 25 to determine how much of the investigative cost into Caylee Anthony’s murder might be added to Casey Anthony’s fines.
Texas Equusearch, which helped in the search for Caylee Anthony, also wants compensation for the $112,000 and 4,200 searchers it says was spent on looking for the toddler. The company’s head, Tim Miller, told CNN he is considering a lawsuit against Casey Anthony.
Protesters outside the courtroom disturbed by Casey Anthony’s not guilty verdict screamed and chanted during the sentencing hearing. Meanwhile, inside, Casey Anthony smiled now and then while waiting for sentencing as she did Wednesday when the not guilty verdict was read.
Several jurors in the Casey Anthony trial expressed their distress over the verdict they felt they had to hand down in the case. “I did not say she was innocent,” juror Jennifer Ford told ABC News. “I just said there was not enough evidence.” Ford said the verdict left the jurors “sick to our stomachs.” However, they believed they had not choice but to acquit Anthony based on ‘reasonable doubt’ due to lack of evidence.
The judge and court officials are currently determining how much credit for time served Casey Anthony will receive.