Quieting the baby

Judge in Casey Anthony trial suggests mother killed her daughter accidentally

Casey Anthony (R) reacts to being found not guilty on murder charges at the Orange County Courthouse on July 5, 2011 in Orlando, Florida. (Red Huber-Pool/Getty Images)

The judge who oversaw the trial of Casey Anthony, a woman who stood accused of murdering her own 2-year-old daughter Caylee, has suggested in recent comments that Anthony accidentally killed the girl in an attempt at quieting her.

Anthony, who was thrust into the public spotlight when she was charged with first-degree murder after the disappearance of her Caylee in 2008, was acquitted of the crime in a trial by jury on July 5, 2011. But in a phone interview on Wednesday, former Circuit Judge Belvin Perry Jr. said that while he found no fault in the verdict of the case, evidence had shown Anthony had researched the use of chloroform as a sedative online.

Prosecutors had accused Anthony of using chloroform on Caylee before suffocating her by putting duct tape over her mouth. Noting that surgeons had once used chloroform as anesthetic, Perry suggested an alternative explanation for Caylee’s death — perhaps Anthony had meant to use chloroform to quiet the child down, but overdosed her and accidentally killed her instead.

“There was a possibility that she may have utilized that to keep the baby quiet … and just used too much of it, and the baby died,” said Perry.

Had jurors been led to that conclusion, Perry speculated, Anthony might have been convicted of second-degree murder or manslaughter. But in the end, Perry emphasized, such claims should be taken as speculation — not fact.

“That’s just one of many theories as to how this beautiful young lady [Caylee] tragically met her death,” Perry said. “As I’ve expressed, the only person that really knows what happened was Casey.”

Read the full story at the Orlando Sentinel.


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