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Casey Anthony has been found not guilty of murdering her 2-year-old daughter Caylee. The jury declined to convict her of either first degree murder or manslaughter.
Prosecutor Jeff Ashton walked into the courtroom prior to the verdict reading to roaring applause.
Spectators outside the courtroom cheered and screamed "way to go" as the rest of the prosection team entered the courthouse. As helicopters circuled, Orlando residents on their lunch break wandered over to the scene.
George Anthony was spotted inside the courtroom praying.
At the heart of the case was Casey Anthony's fantastic lie that a babysitter named Zenaida, referred to in court as "Zanny the nanny," had stolen Caylee Anthony.
Prosecutors claimed that Casey Anthony killed her daughter by drugging Caylee with chloroform and suffocating her with duct tape over her mouth and nose.
She killed Caylee, prosecutor Jeff Ashton claimed in his closing argument, because Casey Anthony had to choose between her child and "the life she wanted."
"We submit to you the evidence in this case shows that the choice she made was her child," Ashton said.
Lawyers for Casey Anthony, who never took the stand, admitted on the first day of the trial that the 25-year-old single mother had made up a complex web of lies. Defense attorney Jose Baez said that the truth was that Caylee had accidentally drowned in the family pool and instead of reporting her death, Casey "went into a dark corner, to pretend as if nothing was wrong."
Baez said Casey Anthony behaved that way because she had been "trained to lie" through years of sexual abuse by her father. Judge Belvin Perry ruled, however, that there was no evidence that Casey Anthony was abused by her father and ordered that it not be mentioned in closing arguments.
The prosecution was hampered in its case by the fact that Caylee's body, found in a swamp six months after she disappeared, was so badly deteriorated that the medical examiner could not determine exactly how she died. Caylee's cause of death was listed as a "homicide of undetermined means."