- (Photo: Reuters/Red Huber/Pool)
During a recent interview on NBC's "Today" the judge who presided over the Casey Anthony case revealed that he was "shocked" to hear the jury read the non-guilty verdict.
It has been more than two years since Judge Belvin Perry, chief judge on Florida's Ninth Judicial Circuit, sat on the bench and oversaw jury selection for trial involving a woman whom he considered "very manipulative."
"There were two sides to Casey Anthony," Perry told host Savannah Guthrie during an interview on Monday.
"There was the side that was before the jury, where she portrayed the role of a mother who had lost a child, someone who was wrongfully accused, and then you could notice the change and transformation in her when the jury went out," he said.
While the trial was underway, Anthony's attorneys put forth the option of taking a plea deal for aggravated manslaughter instead of first-degree murder.
Perry still remembers the commotion he heard that day coming from a holding cell where the defense planned their strategy.
"I will never forget that day,'' Perry said. "All of a sudden, you heard shouting coming from the holding cell, some four-letter words coming from the holding cell, and she was quite upset. So upset that one counselor suggested that she was incompetent to proceed."
The jury found Anthony not guilty of first-degree murder in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, but the jury found Anthony guilty of four misdemeanor counts of providing false information to a law enforcement officer. She was released in July of 2011 after getting credit for time served.
"There was sufficient evidence to sustain a verdict of murder in the first degree in this case," Perry said.
But the judge explained that when using a jury of one's peers, all you have to do is raise a reasonable level of doubt. Anthony's attorney Jose Baez was able to do just that.
"Don't speculate. Don't guess. It has to be proven to you beyond a reasonable doubt," Baez told jurors during closing arguments.