Casey Anthony Sentenced To Jail Until July 17
UPDATE: Anthony will now be released on July 17, according to multiple reports.
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Casey Anthony will be a free woman on Wednesday, just weeks shy of what would have been her daughter Caylee's sixth birthday.
Chief Judge Belvin Perry sentenced Anthony, 25, to four years for lying to police during the investigation into Caylee's 2008 death, but shortened her term because she served 1,043 days after being arrested and charged with first-degree murder.
Anthony was acquitted of killing 2-year-old Caylee on Tuesday, but she returned to court in Orlando on Thursday for sentencing on four lesser counts of lying to police officers about the disappearance of her child. Those lies launched one of the largest searches ever for a missing child.
Perry also slapped her with $4,000 in fines.
Anthony's defense team tried to persuade Perry that the four misdemeanors occurred during one day of questioning by police and therefore should be counted as a single crime. To punish her on four separate counts would violate double jeopardy rules, the defense said.
But Perry appeared unmoved.
"As a result of those four distinct lies, law enforcement expended a great deal of of time energy and manpower looking for young Caylee Marie Anthony," he said.
Perry sentenced Anthony to serve one year of jail time for each of the four counts of lying to police. Since the death of her daughter in 2008, Anthony has spent almost three years behind bars.
Wearing a blue v-neck sweater, Anthony, 25, smiled at times when she entered the court, but she appeared stoic when the hearing began and expressionless when the verdict was handed down.
The jury deliberated for 11 hours over two days before finding Anthony not guilty of first-degree murder, manslaughter and child abuse after the month-long trial that had captivated the country.
Anthony's story to police about the disappearance of her daughter changed several times. She initially told authorities that Caylee had been kidnapped by a babysitter, but her defense attorneys argued during the trial that the toddler drowned in the family's pool.
The prosecution alleged that Anthony suffocated Caylee, whose remains were found buried near the family's home in Orlando. Photos later emerged of Anthony partying and competing in a hot body contest during the period when she claimed that Caylee had disappeared.
SEE THE COURTHOUSE PROTESTORS:
The Orange County courthouse was once again a chaotic scene on Thursday as a large crowd formed for its last glimpse of the saga that began three years ago.
Several dozen protestors stood outside chanting "We want justice" while police stood nearby to maintain order.
After sentencing, opposing groups of demonstrators drowned each other out, shouting "Justice for Caylee" and "Free Casey."