- (Photo: Reuters/Red Huber/Pool)
An angry crowd jeered comments as Casey Anthony walked out of the front door of the Orange County Jail a free woman just after midnight on Sunday, about three years and one day after she was arrested for the disappearance and eventual death of Caylee, her two-year-old daughter.
She was wearing a pink shirt, jeans, and sneakers with her hair up in a tight bun as Jose Baez, Anthony’s lawyer, was by her side along with a well-orchestrated Special Response team in green vests.
It has been confirmed that the Orange County Sheriff's deputies had two contingency plans laid out, but in the end opted to go with a public release.
"We have made every effort to not provide any special treatment for her," said Allen Moore, the spokesman for the Orange County Corrections Department in a statement.
"She has been treated like every other inmate in her custody class."
As soon as the news spread across the grounds of the jail that Anthony was walking out the front door around 12:09 a.m., crowds of protesters ran to catch a glimpse of the group walking quickly toward a dark vehicle parked outside the jailhouse doors.
They were chanting “killer” and waving “boycott blood money” signs as news helicopters flew overhead to film the intense scene.
Some protesters camped on the grounds of the jail all night just so they could see Anthony walk out of jail and yell their chants, according to media reports.
Charles Greene, one of Anthony's attorneys, told a judge Friday he had received seven different threats against Anthony the day of the acquittal, Reuters reported.
Another attorney, Cheney Mason, said "We are all vigilant and I am armed."
Anthony mouthed a quick “thank you” to one of the deputies as she rushed into a dark SUV parked in front of the jail.
She had no emotion on her face.
Given the threats against her life by those furious at the not-guilty verdict, Anthony's lawyers have not said where she will go next, but overhead the helicopters tracked the convoy of vehicles from the jail to downtown Orlando and into the parking garage of her lawyer Cheney Mason's office.
Speculations are coming in by the hundreds with some saying Anthony was heading to an Orlando airport close to the jail.
Camera crews filmed Anthony’s walk out of jail, but only three reporters were allowed inside the jail. News reporters were trying desperately to find out where Anthony was headed, but the convoy of cars eluded most.
The secret details of her release come just 12 days after a jury acquitted her on murder and child neglect charges, which prompted a nation-wide debate on the U.S. justice system.
Baez told the jury that Caylee had drowned in the family's swimming pool on June 16, 2008.
The unpopular verdict has brought alleged threats and jeers toward Anthony and the jurors in recent days.
She was found guilty of four misdemeanor counts of lying to police and sentenced to four years. Anthony was given credit for time served and time was shaved from her sentence for good behavior.
Legal analysts say the six-week trial that drew intense media hype only added to the mystery of what happened to two-year-old Caylee Anthony. Questions about how Caylee died, and who was responsible, remains unanswered and is debated most every night on news networks.
There are speculations about what will happen to Casey Anthony now that she is free, ranging from a possible million-dollar book deal with pictures to a television special.
However, most legal analysts say she will have to stay in hiding for a period of time as even her own lawyers fear for her life.
Attorney Cheney Mason said in a recent interview that he fears for Casey Anthony's life because some people do not respect the justice system.
The public fury during and after the high-profile case has led to speculation that the polarizing subject of the "I Hate Casey Anthony" Facebook page – with more than 40,000 fans on the site –might change her name and appearance, and move someplace far away, according to media reports.
Florida corrections officials, and Anthony's lawyers, have offered few details to the media about where Anthony will go and what she will do because of the intense emotions surrounding the case.
Her father George Anthony made it clear that his daughter will not be welcome in the family's Orlando home upon her release, according to Fox News.
However, it has been confirmed that Anthony will have to face legal issues in the future.
Her criminal team is appealing her convictions for misleading police, and she is being sued in two separate actions in civil court, according to court records.
"A petition has been filed and a judge ruled that Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez's defamation suit against Anthony can go forward before Anthony leaves jail," court records show.
Fernandez-Gonzalez claims her life was ruined after Anthony told police a nanny by the same name had kidnapped Caylee,” according to court records.
Detectives and Anthony say the nanny is fictitious.
Court records also show that the volunteer search group Texas EquuSearch filed a lawsuit against Anthony looking to recoup more than $100,000 it spent to look for Caylee Anthony in 2008.
"It was Jose Baez's opening statement when he said Caylee was never missing because she had died, that got this case going,” said Marc Wites, a partner in Wites & Kapetan in Lighthouse Point, Fla., who represents TES in the Texas Equusearch Mounted Search and Recovery v. Casey Anthony case.
"It is a very basic case of fraudulent representation and omission. They can ill afford to spend money on this type of case. The fact was her mother knew she was dead and very likely knew where she was buried," Wites said about Casey Anthony's knowledge at the time her parents asked TES to search for Caylee.
“With the advice of our legal counsel, Marc Wites and Alex Kapetan of Wites & Kapetan, and the approval of our Board of Directors, Texas EquuSearch has filed a civil suit against Casey Anthony in an effort to recoup expenses in the search for Caylee Anthony. This case was filed in the 9th Judicial District Circuit in and for Orange County, FL; styled Texas EquuSearch Mounted Search and Recovery v. Casey Anthony; Cause No. 11-CA-8475,” according to the TES Website.
In yet another twist to an already convoluted case, court records also show that a South Carolina prison inmate Christopher Umberger filed suit against Anthony to obtain a DNA test, which he claims will prove he is the father of Caylee Anthony.
Wherever Casey Anthony ends up living her life, chances are that she’ll be living in a state that has adopted the new “Caylee’s law.”
Legislators from 30 states have pledged to carry a version of the law, which would make it illegal for parents and guardians to fail to report when their child has been killed or gone missing.
"Caylee's Law will be groundbreaking, and will assist the Adam Walsh Act, the Lungsford Act, Amber Alert, and many others that are necessary for our children," George Anthony told The Washington Post.
Baez, or his law firm, did not respond to a telephone message or an e-mail request for comment.
Criminal-defense attorney Cheney Mason also could not be reached for comment.