We cried and were “sick to our stomachs” when we voted to acquit Casey Anthony of murdering her 2-year-old daughter, Orlando juror Jennifer Ford revealed Wednesday.
“Everyone wonders why we didn't speak to the media right away. It was because we were sick to our stomachs to get that verdict,” Ford told ABC News.
“We were crying, and not just the women. It was emotional and we weren't ready,” the 32-year-old said of the six other women and five men on the panel. “We wanted to do it with integrity and not contribute to the sensationalism of the trial."
The jurors, who were unnamed and sequestered during the seven-week trial that riveted the nation, deliberated about 11 hours before finding the 25-year-old single mom not guilty of killing Caylee in June 2008.
Once facing the death penalty, Anthony Thursday will be sentenced on four misdemeanor counts of lying to police. She could get about a year behind bars or be freed.
"I did not say she was innocent," said Ford. "I just said there was not enough evidence. If you cannot prove what the crime was, you cannot determine what the punishment should be."
Prosecutors had argued that the hard-partying Anthony, who lived with her parents, drugged Caylee with chloroform, suffocated her with duct tape on her mouth and buried her in a nearby woods because she wanted to be free of parental responsibilities.
The defense countered that Caylee accidentally drowned in the family swimming pool, and that Anthony tried to cover it up because she was molested by her dad.
Florida state attorney Jeff Ashton yesterday told "The View" that the jury acquitted Anthony because Caylee’s decomposed body was not discovered for six months and they couldn’t prove how she died.
“It all came down to the evidence ... it came down to the cause of death," Ashton said
Russell Huekler, an alternate juror who heard all the testimony, agreed. “There was reasonable doubt. Again, they didn't show us how Caylee died. They didn't show us a motive.”
Huekler and Ford praised the jurors.
“They picked a great bunch of people, such high integrity,” Ford said. “They really listened to this case and kept an open mind," added Huekler, who believed Caylee's death was just a horrific accident.
Mark Lippman, a lawyer for Anthony's parents, told “Good Morning America" yesterday that George and Cindy Anthony were stunned by the verdict because they thought the state did a good job. They haven’t met with their daughter since her trial began.
“There was a slim chance that we were hoping to get some sliver of truth during this trial and that would have been by testimony from Casey ... hopefully one day she'll tell her story, but who knows what to believe," Lippman added.