Casey Anthony is now a free woman.
She walked out of the Orange County Jail at 12:11 a.m. Sunday with attorney Jose Baez. Two Special Response Team officers wearing green bulletproof vests and armed with .45-caliber semiautomatic rifles followed behind.
Casey wore a pink T-shirt, jeans and tennis shoes. She carried nothing with her.
Hundreds who were gathered outside the jail screamed their opposition to her release as she departed the jail.
A three vehicle convoy pulled away from the jail and headed to downtown Orlando, where they were seen by helicopters pulling into the parking garage of a high rise along Orange Avenue.
After that point, it’s unknown where Anthony and Baez went or if they even traveled together.
Anthony said nothing except “thank you” to a heavily armed corrections officer as she was led through the front lobby of the booking and release center at the jail.
Journalists who were invited inside to act as a “pool” noted that corrections officials had several different plans they could have used to assist in Anthony’s departure, but opted for the one they chose, leading her out the front door. Read more about what they say by clicking here.
“This release had an unusual amount of security so, therefore, in that sense, it would not be a normal release,” said Allen Moore, a spokesman for the Orange County Jail. “We have made every effort to not provide any special treatment for her. She has been treated like every other inmate in her custody class.”
The last time Casey walked out of jail on her own was in September 2008. She was back a month later after being indicted for the murder of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee.
Then, on July 5, 2011, a jury found her not guilty.
This time around, new national attention and worries about protesters led to much tighter security than the last time Casey was released.
At the Anthony home
There was a collective sigh of relief from homeowners in the neighborhood where George and Cindy Anthony live on Hopespring Drive now that it’s less likely Casey Anthony will return to her parent’s home after her release from jail.
No porch light was not left on waiting for anyone to arrive late at night and every indication was that the Anthony’s had called it a night.
Many Orange County Sheriff’s Deputies patrolling the neighborhood ended their shift and also left.
George Anthony did make an appearance when walking a visitor to his car, but was tight lipped and did not answer any questions; chief among them, would Casey return home?
A question that, Sunday night, might already have been answered.
Three journalists were allowed inside the jail Sunday morning to document: Tony Zumbado, a videographer from NBC News; Red Huber, a photographer from the Orlando Sentinel; Matt Sedensky, an Associated Press reporter. They described her as not being very emotional. they also described it as not being a dramatic ending. The whole walkout took about 10 to 15 seconds.
While many Central Floridians are still mixed about the verdict, whether they like it or not, Casey was set free.
“I hope the rumors are true, and that she’s going to Puerto Rico, because she’s not welcome here,” said Claudia Mais, an Orlando resident. “I am still seething over the verdict. They had so much evidence stacked against this girl. I am so sick that she is walking out of jail.”
“I don’t see how she’ll be safe to go anywhere,” said Bill Robinson, of Orlando. “I do think it’s fair that she’s getting out, because she had her day in court, and that’s our justice system.”
Protesters set up tents and signs outside the jail, while crews set up barricades to help with crowd control. Many of the people waiting with reporters for Casey’s release are angry about the verdict.
“The fact that she’s getting out is sickening to my stomach,” said Latonya Maddry. “I can’t even sleep at night since that verdict.”
Some men, though, held signs in support for Casey, including one man with a proposition.
“She’s cute. She has her features that are attractive,” said Tim Allen. “So, yeah I would marry her.”
Meanwhile, people from as far away as Canada voiced their displeasure at Casey’s release. One radio station paid someone to fly a banner over the jail. It said “guilty <expletive>.”
Casey’s not done in court
Casey may have been acquitted of killing her daughter, but she still has a pair of civil lawsuits to face.
In the first, Zenaida Gonzalez is suing Casey for defamation, claiming her life was ruined when Casey told investigators a nanny of the same name kidnapped Caylee.
One thing Casey won’t have to worry about is giving a deposition any time soon. A judge Friday ruled that Gonzalez’s attorneys would have to wait until October 8 at the earliest to depose Casey, while her civil attorney deals with other cases.
That civil case is not expected to go to trial until sometime in 2012.
In the second civil case, the recovery group Texas Equusearch is suing Casey for damages in their search for Caylee in 2008, while Caylee maintained her daughter was still alive.
- Casey Anthony Released From Jail, Heckled By Protesters (thehollywoodgossip.com)
- Casey Anthony — RELEASED (tmz.com)
- You: Spectators shout “Killer!” as she leaves jail property (latimes.com)
- Casey Anthony Freed From Fla. Jail Early Sunday (abcnews.go.com)
- Casey Anthony to be released from jail Sunday (cnn.com)
- Deputies wanted Anthony release to look ‘normal’ (news.blogs.cnn.com)
- Casey Anthony to walk free after being acquitted in daughter’s death – CNN International (news.google.com)
- Casey Anthony could be freed from jail tomorrow (thestar.com)
- Casey Anthony released from jail (cbsnews.com)
- Casey Anthony Out Of Jail This Week (buzz103.radio.com)