ORLANDO (CBS4) – Casey Anthony will be spending a few more days in jail then originally thought.
Anthony was initially scheduled to be freed next Wednesday, July 13th. But late Thursday night officials announced the release date will be pushed back to Sunday, July 17th.
During a sentencing hearing Thursday morning, Judge Belvin Perry sentenced the 25-year old Orlando woman to four years in jail and fined her four thousand dollars for lying to police during their investigation into the disappearance of her daughter Caylee three years ago. She lied to them about working at the Universal Studios theme park, about leaving her daughter with a non-existent nanny named Zanny, about leaving the girl with friends and about receiving a phone call from her.
The sentence was ultimately shortened to 10 days after taking into account her good behavior and time served.
“It’s a mess,” said Dan Bension who watched the sentencing hearing as he ate breakfast at the Front Porch restaurant on Miami Beach, “I suppose she has already done three, so I don’t know, I think the whole thing is a mess.”
Theresa Byrd said her main concern was not with Casey, but with Caylee.
“We really need to find out what happened because I really would like to know what happened to her daughter,” said Byrd.
Miami attorney Steven Kozlowski barely glanced at the television in the restaurant when the Judge Perry handed down the sentence. He said he really hasn’t followed the trial or make a comment on the verdict.
“The jury is the only one that has been sitting there listening to all the evidence from the beginning, they are the only ones who can really make decisions,” said Kozlowski.
Earlier this week a jury of seven women and five men took less than 11 hours to find Anthony not guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated manslaughter and aggravated child abuse.
Many people across South Florida were shocked at the verdict.
“I’m devastated as to this verdict,” Debra Bunker said. “I cannot believe that the verdict has come true to pass. This is another OJ. There is nobody to protect the little voices to say anything. I don’t understand. I don’t.”
After the verdict was read and a smiling Anthony was led away by bailiffs as her attorneys faced reporters. They took no questions, but they blasted the media legal pundits for the way Anthony’s case was handled.
“I hope that this is a lesson to those of you who have indulged in a media assassination for three years, biased, prejudice, and incompetent talking heads saying what would be and what ought to be,” said attorney Cheney Mason.
Lead defense attorney Jose Baez also echoed Mason’s sentiment in that cases like this should not be tried in the media by ‘talking heads’.
“This case has brought on new challenges for all of us. Challenges in the criminal justice system, challenges in the media, and I think we should all take this as an opportunity to learn and to realize that you cannot convict someone until they’ve had their day in court,” he said.
- Web Extra: PHOTOGALLERY OF IMAGES FROM THE VERDICT
- Web Extra: UNEDITED VIDEO:Sheriff Jerry Demings and State Attorney Lawson Lamar
- Web Extra: UNEDITED VIDEO: Casey Anthony Defense Team
- Web Extra: UNEDITED VIDEO: Casey Anthony Verdict
During month long trial prosecutors argued that Anthony killed Caylee because the toddler interrupted her carefree partying and love life.
Anthony’s attorneys countered that the girl drowned in the family’s pool. They said Anthony panicked and that her father, a former police officer, decided to make the death look like a homicide by placing duct tape over the child’s mouth and dumping the body in some nearby woods. George Anthony has denied that.
“While the family may never know what has happened to Caylee Marie Anthony, they now have closure for this chapter of their life. They will now begin the long process of rebuilding their lives,” said attorney Mark Lippman, speaking for Anthony’s estranged family, who were blamed during trial for sexually abusing Casey, sexual affairs, lies and covering up Caylee’s true demise.
The verdict means that officially Caylee Anthony’s killer is still at large. Prosecutors made no statement about what, if anything, will be done to pursue any other leads in that case. Orange County prosecutor Lawson Lamar did say police and prosecutors will go back to work on the thousands of other cases they have, including other cases involving dead children.