Casey Anthony Juror: 'Sick to Our Stomachs' Over Not Guilty Verdict

Juror said they couldn't convict because there was "not enough evidence."

ByABC News
July 6, 2011, 3:52 AM

July 6, 2011— -- Casey Anthony juror Jennifer Ford said that she and the other jurors cried and were "sick to our stomachs" after voting to acquit Casey Anthony of charges that she killed her 2-year-old daughter Caylee.

"I did not say she was innocent," said Ford, who had previously only been identified as juror No. 3. "I just said there was not enough evidence. If you cannot prove what the crime was, you cannot determine what the punishment should be."

Ford, a 32-year-old nursing student at St. Petersburg College, praised the jurors, but said when deliberations began there were "a lot of conflicting ideas." At first, people came down on both sides of whether Casey Anthony killed her daughter, Ford said, and the first vote was 10-2 for "not guilty."

"I toggled on manslaughter and not guilty," Ford told "Nightline" anchor Terry Moran in an exclusive TV interview. "It doesn't feel good. It was a horrible decision to have to make."

The jury's jaw-dropping not guilty verdict shocked court observers, but it was also a difficult moment for the panel, Ford said in her exclusive interviews with ABC News. No one from the jury was willing to come out and talk to the media in the hours after the verdict.

"Everyone wonders why we didn't speak to the media right away," Ford said. "It was because we were sick to our stomach to get that verdict. We were crying, and not just the women. It was emotional and we weren't ready. We wanted to do it with integrity and not contribute to the sensationalism of the trial."

Ford told Moran she thought Casey Anthony's claim that her 2-year-old daughter accidentally drowned and she lied for three years was more believable than the evidence the prosecution presented.

"I'm not saying I believe the defense," she said. "Obviously, it wasn't proven so I'm not taking that and speculating at all. But it's easier for me logically to get from point A to point B" via the defense argument.

Ford said that she couldn't make out "logically" the prosecution's argument because there were too many unanswered questions about how Caylee died, including how Casey Anthony would have used chloroform to smother her 2-year-old daughter, then put her in the trunk of her car without anyone seeing her.

"If there was a dead child in that trunk, does that prove how she died? No idea, still no idea." Ford told Moran. "If you're going to charge someone with murder, don't you have to know how they killed someone or why they might have killed someone, or have something where, when, why, how? Those are important questions. They were not answered."

Instead of murder, Casey Anthony, 25, was found guilty of four counts of lying to law enforcement and could be released from jail as early as Thursday. Ford agreed that Anthony was a "pathological liar" but said "bad behavior is not enough to prove a crime" and her actions could be blamed on her family dynamic.

"The family she comes from and the family that made her what she is had some influence," she said. "What do they say? You're as sick as your secrets? I mean, the family seemed to have a little something going on."

She added that she thought Casey Anthony's father, George Anthony, was "dishonest."

"I don't know if he had anything to do with it, but I think that he was there," she said. "He and Casey have something."

Casey Anthony Prosecutor: 'All Came Down to Cause of Death'

Earlier today, the prosecutor and an alternate juror agreed on why the jury refused to convict Anthony: They couldn't prove how Caylee Anthony died.

"It all came down to the evidence," said Florida state attorney Jeff Ashton on "The View." "I think ultimately it all came down to -- at least from what the one alternate said -- it came down to the cause of death."

Russell Huekler, one of five alternate jurors who were present for all the testimony and sequestered along with the 12 other jurors, said today that he would have delivered the same verdict and that he was shocked by the public outrage over the trial's outcome.

"The prosecution failed to prove their case and there was reasonable doubt," Huekler said. "Again, they didn't show us how Caylee died. They didn't show us a motive. I'm sorry people feel that way. ... These were 17 total jurors. They really listened to this case and kept an open mind."

Top 9 Moments: Casey Anthony Trial

The prosecution was hampered by the fact that Caylee Anthony's body wasn't discovered until six months after she disappeared. She was found lying in a swampy, wooded area. Her body was so badly decomposed that the autopsy could not determine a cause of death and stated only that she was a victim of homicide by undetermined means.

"I don't think it was the lack of DNA" connecting Casey Anthony to her daughter's death that undermined the case, Ashton said. "It was the cause of death."

Ashton said that he and his team felt they put on a good case.

"We were pretty shocked" at the verdict, he said. "We put on everything that an investigation, a really thorough investigation over three years, produced. That's the way it goes. I think I mouthed, 'Wow' five times."

One of the most powerful pieces of evidence, he said, was the photo of Caylee's decomposed skull with the pieces of duct tape where her mouth and nose would have been.

"What I've said all along is if a jury looks at that photograph and doesn't see it the way I do and doesn't know how she died, then so be it," Ashton said. "I wouldn't have been involved in this case if I didn't think she did it."

Huekler said he believed Caylee's death was just a horrific accident and that Casey Anthony was a good mother.

"The first number of witnesses were Casey's friends, and every time that they said they saw Casey with Caylee it was a loving relationship, and no one provided evidence to the contrary," Huekler said.

Huekler said the lack of physical evidence that Caylee was murdered overwhelmed the circumstantial evidence of Casey Anthony's many lies and her hard partying in the 31 days when she knew her daughter was dead but didn't tell authorities.

"Yeah, the behavior was bizarre, but what I took from that is that the family was very dysfunctional," Huekler said. "Because they were so dysfunctional, that was the norm for them. Casey didn't just start lying for the first 31 days [after Caylee disappeared]. She had been lying for the past two years. ... I felt it was the norm for her."

Huekler added that it didn't bother him that Casey Anthony did not testify in her own defense.

Mark Lippman, a lawyer for Anthony's parents, said on "Good Morning America" that George and Cindy Anthony were shocked by the verdict, not because they believed Casey Anthony was guilty, but because they thought the state did a fantastic job presenting its case.

George and Cindy Anthony have not met with their daughter since her trial began, but they hope to meet with her and to one day get the truth about what happened to Caylee.

"There was a slim chance that we were hoping to get some sliver of truth during this trial and that would have been by testimony from Casey," Lippman said. "Hopefully, one day she'll tell her story. But who knows what to believe?"