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A Florida jury returned what is considered a somewhat surprising verdict today, finding Casey Anthony guilty -- though not of any charges directly related to the death of her daughter, Caylee Anthony.
Though she was acquitted on the charges of murder, manslaughter, and aggravated child abuse, the jury found Casey Anthony guilty of lying to police.
What happens next?
Though, on its face, the jury's verdict not to convict Casey Anthony of murder seems a bit surprising, the reality is that prosecutors failed to present a solid case connecting her to her daughter's death.
Even though Anthony's story of her own abuse and the pool drowning of Caylee seemed a bit far-fetched, prosecutors still failed to affirmatively connect her to the alleged murder weapon or definitively prove that her vehicle smelled of human decomposition.
Their entire case rested almost entirely on the fact that Casey Anthony wove a detailed web of lies and appeared to be unaffected by Caylee's disappearance.
That, at least in this case, is not enough to convict a person of murder. It is, however, enough to convict a person of lying to police.
There was little doubt that the jury would find Casey Anthony guilty of lying, as the defense tried to tie her lies to a larger pattern of behavior that explained her actions during the time her daughter was missing.
In Florida, each count of lying to police during an investigation carries with it a term of imprisonment of up to one year. She was convicted of four such counts.
However, this doesn't meant that Anthony will return to jail for four years.
While the jury found Casey Anthony guilty of lying to police, she has spent a significant time in jail awaiting trial. The judge could sentence her time-served followed by probation, meaning that she could go free or spend as little as a year behind bars.
Casey Anthony will be sentenced on Thursday, July 7.
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