Sheriff's office won't be Casey Anthony's "personal security"

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 12, 2011 5:28 PM
Sheriff's office won't be Casey Anthony's "personal security"

By Barbara Liston

ORLANDO, Fla (Reuters) - A Florida sheriff's office will provide no special protection for Casey Anthony when she leaves jail on Sunday, despite the public scorn she faces after being acquitted of killing her daughter.

"We're not going to be her personal security," Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said on Tuesday at his agency's wide-ranging and final press conference about the case.

Anthony, 25, was found not guilty last week of first-degree murder stemming from the 2008 death of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee, whose skeletal remains were later found in woods near the Anthony family home.

Casey Anthony was convicted of misdemeanor charges of lying to detectives during the investigation and sentenced to the maximum four years in jail. She will be released this weekend after receiving credit for time served awaiting trial and good behavior while in jail.

Where Anthony will go after her release is a mystery. Her parents, George and Cindy Anthony, left the courtroom after the verdict last week without speaking to their daughter but were back in the regular seats to hear the sentence on Thursday. Anthony rejected a jail visit from her mother a day later.

Demings said his intelligence officers were assessing "lots of chatter in social media" and elsewhere by people angry at the outcome of Anthony's seven-week trial in Orlando. But he said they didn't have "credible threats to move forward in active prosecution."

Since the verdict, a handful of jury members have said they had doubts about Anthony's innocence but felt prosecutors did not present enough evidence to warrant a murder conviction.

The prosecution had argued that Anthony smothered Caylee with duct tape and drove around for several days with Caylee's body in her car trunk before dumping her remains. The defense said Caylee died in an accidental drowning in the family's backyard pool.

The officers who investigated Caylee's disappearance and death said they did not share those doubts.

"I certainly don't have any doubt," Sgt. John Allen said. "I think our case was solid."

Demings said his agency continues to work on fallout from the case, including a potential witness-tampering investigation that was put on hold during the trial. Allen would not provide details of that incident.

The sheriff left open the possibility of perjury charges being filed against Anthony's mother, Cindy Anthony, in connection to her trial testimony about performing chloroform searches on the family's desktop computer.

But State Attorney's Office spokeswoman Danielle Tavernier later told Reuters that prosecutors had decided against charging her.

(Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Cynthia Johnston)