It has been over 10 years since Casey Anthony was acquitted of first-degree murder in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, in July 2011. José Báez, Anthony’s lead attorney, has recently reflected on the verdict that still confounds the nation today.
“I think people who were not intimately involved with the case really, truly, do not know all the players,” Báez, 51, told Fox35 in an interview released on November 11. “Even those who were intimately involved will never know all the answers.”
“[The trial] seems like another lifetime ago to me,” Báez continued. “I’m always going to be grateful for everything that that case brought, but it hasn’t defined me.”
The infamous case began on May 24, 2011. During the prosecution’s opening statements, they alleged that Anthony, now 35, had used chloroform to kill Caylee in June 2008 and then duct-taped her around her nose and mouth.
Báez argued that Caylee, who Anthony reported missing a month after she last saw her daughter, was “never missing.”
“On June 16, 2008, she drowned in the family swimming pool,” he argued at the time, alleging that Anthony’s father, George Anthony, helped cover up the death. “It was a horrible tragedy. A common tragedy.”
Ultimately, Anthony was found not guilty of first degree murder or manslaughter. However, she was found guilty on four counts of lying to the police, which are misdemeanors. She was sentenced to four years in jail. Anthony had already served approximately three years in prison — and exhibited good behavior — she only owed 10 more days in prison at the time of her sentencing.
The trial seeming launched Báez’s career. After Anthony’s acquittal, Báez went on to other high-profile cases, including representing convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein and former NFL player and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez, whom the defense lawyer helped win an acquittal on a separate double-murder charge. Báez has also written two New York Times best-sellers about Hernandez’s and Anthony’s acquittal and is currently a professor at Harvard.
“I’m very content with my profession. I’m very content with my life,” Báez told the outlet. “I’ve never been happier, so I’m in a good place.”