The Florida judge who superintended the Casey Anthony murder trial said he believes Anthony accidentally killed her daughter with chloroform.
In July 2011, following a dramatic trial that lasted six weeks, Anthony was found not guilty of murdering her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee. But she was convicted of four misdemeanor counts of lying to police.
Now retired, Orange County Judge Belvin Perry recently spoke about the case to WFTV and the Orlando Sentinel.
"The most logical thing that occurred, in my eyesight, based on everything I know about the case, was that [Anthony] did not intentionally kill her daughter," he told WFTV. "I think based upon the evidence, the most logical thing that happened was that she tried to knock her daughter out by the use of chloroform and gave her too much chloroform, which caused her daughter to die."
Caylee disappeared in 2008. Her remains were eventually discovered in a wooded area near Anthony's home. The prosecution argued that Anthony had deliberately killed her and dumped her body in the woods, but investigators were unable to determine the cause of death.
During the trial, prosecutors showed evidence that someone had been using the computer in Anthony's home to research how to knock a person out using chloroform.
"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," Perry said in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel. "That’s just one of the many theories as to how this beautiful young lady [Caylee] tragically met her death."
A scientist also testified that chloroform was found in the trunk of Anthony's car, which prosecutors said was used to transport Caylee's body.
"To me, that was the most logical thing, looking at the totality of the entire situation," Perry said. "There was never any evidence of abuse of the daughter that was documented, that was presented anywhere."
Anthony's defense team argued that Caylee had accidentally drowned in the family pool and that someone besides Anthony had moved the body.
Perry added that he does not think the jury made the wrong decision, but that it was still correct to charge Anthony with first-degree murder.
"The question was asked, 'Was there sufficient evidence to submit the case to the jury on the theory of murder in the first degree?' The answer to that question is yes," he told WFTV.
The former judge emphasized that, ultimately, nobody apart from Anthony herself can be certain about what actually happened to Caylee.
"As I’ve expressed, the only person that really knows what happened was Casey. For whatever reason, people are still fascinated with Casey Anthony."