Alternate juror says Casey Anthony needs help

AP News
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Posted: Jul 06, 2011 1:13 PM
Alternate juror says Casey Anthony needs help

An alternate juror in the Casey Anthony murder trial said Wednesday that he feels compassion for the young woman and hopes she will get help because she can no longer live a life of dishonesty.

Russell Huekler told The Associated Press that he believes the woman faces challenges even though she was found not guilty Tuesday of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee. Athony was convicted of lying to investigators.

"She can't live the life that she led. She can't lead a life of lies upon lies," Huekler said.

He said he was shocked to learn of the public's anger that the jury had acquitted of Anthony on a murder charge.

"Those 12 jurors, they worked really, really hard," said Huekler, who was not involved in deliberations but sat through more than 33 days of testimony as an alternate. "I'm sure they looked at the law and the evidence that was presented and unfortunately, the prosecution didn't meet their burden of proof."

The trial was heard in Orlando but the jurors were all from the Tampa Bay area due to publicity surrounding the case.

Huekler said Judge Belvin Perry gave the jury very specific instructions prior to deliberations.

"There were 12 pages of jury instructions for each charge," he said. "And it was very clear what had to be proven for a guilty verdict."

He said that jurors likely focused on the evidence, not the opening and closing statements in the trial.

"I know that for myself, the opening statements are not evidence," he said. "It's a roadmap of where the prosecution and the defense wanted their cases to go. So I disregarded the opening statements and waited for the evidence. I would have made my decision based on the evidence."

The 51-year-old high school teacher said prosecutors didn't establish a motive or prove murder.

"Reasonable doubt is such a high standard and I don't think the prosecution met that," said Huekler, from his St. Petersburg home.

He also questioned why the prosecution called witnesses that said Anthony was a good mother.

"That didn't make sense," he said.

Anthony clearly has many problems, he said, adding that she needs help.

"It's going to be difficult for her for the rest of her life," he said.