Judge: Casey Anthony probably killed her daughter, but by accident

USA TODAY - The retired Florida judge who presided over the Casey Anthony trial said he believes she "may" have accidentally killed her two-year-old daughter with chloroform.

In 2011, a jury acquitted Anthony of murdering her two-year-old child Caylee Anthony in June 2008. Instead, the jury convicted her of four misdemeanor counts of lying to police.

Retired Orange County Judge Belvin Perry told WFTV that he doesn't find fault with the verdict, believes there was enough evidence to file a murder charge against Anthony.

“The question was asked, ‘Was there sufficient evidence to submit the case to the jury on the theory of murder in the first degree?’” Perry said. “The answer to that question is yes.”

Anthony was accused of killing Caylee in June 2008. Caylee's body was found months later in woods near the Anthony home, but authorities were unable to determine a cause of death. The prosecution team said Anthony dumped Caylee's body there and tried to resume her normal life. During the trial, evidence was presented that showed Anthony researched using chloroform, which was once used as an inhaled anesthetic during surgery.

But while Perry said he believes Anthony may have killed her child, he doesn’t think it was intentional.

“The most logical thing that occurred, in my eyesight, based on everything I know about the case, was that (Anthony) did not intentionally kill her daughter,” Perry told WFTV. “I think based upon the evidence, the most logical thing that happened was that she tried to knock her daughter out by the use of chloroform and gave her too much chloroform, which caused her daughter to die.”

He told the Orlando Sentinel that the only person who will ever truly know what happened is Anthony, but the overdose of chloroform is one possibility.

"...She may have utilized [chloroform] to keep the baby quiet ... and just used too much of it, and the baby died,” he said.

Follow Mary Bowerman on Twitter: @MaryBowerman 

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