Casey Anthony Verdict: Anthony Family Gets Death Threats in Wake of Acquittal, Asks for Privacy

Threats come after Casey Anthony's stunning acquittal in death of her daughter.

July 5, 2011, 7:53 PM

July 5, 2011 — -- Members of Casey Anthony's family received death threats today after the Florida woman was acquitted of murder in the death of her daughter, 2-year-old Caylee.

Mark Lippman, the attorney for George and Cindy Anthony, Casey Anthony's parents, told ABC News that the family has received death threats. Authorities are reportedly investigating. Additional details were not immediately available.

The verdict provoked shock and outrage, and the backlash was swift.

Spectators outside the courtroom comforted each other and cried, and one man remarking that Casey Anthony should leave town because she's not welcome in Orlando.

Law enforcement officials roped off a door where Cindy and George Anthony were expected to make their exit from the court, and bystanders chanted "Appeal! Appeal!" and "justice for Caylee."

One woman said, "[The verdict] is going to make millions of people think they can get away with killing their child. ... That isn't a good depiction of what our justice system is like or should be."

In New York's Times Square, the reaction to the verdict was emotional.

"I'm sick, you know, she killed a little girl," said Susan McDougal. "So she gets off and she goes home and maybe has another baby that she can abuse and hurt."

Jurors in the explosive murder trial headed into deliberations with plenty of forensic evidence and expert testimony to pore over. They also had seen a lot of family drama play out on the witness stand, including allegations by the defense team that Casey Anthony's father, George, and brother, Lee, had sexually molested her.

It also appeared that Cindy Anthony perjured herself in testimony about computer searches for the term "chloroform," and it was revealed that Casey Anthony told elaborate lies -- not just about the circumstances surrounding her daughter's disappearance, but about other aspects of her life, as well.

A statement released today by Lippman on behalf of George, Cindy and Lee Anthony seems to demonstrate the family's conflict.

"While the family may never know what has happened to Caylee Marie Anthony, they now have closure for this chapter of their life. They will now begin the long process of rebuilding their lives. Despite the baseless defense chosen by Casey Anthony, the family believes that the Jury made a fair decision based on the evidence presented, the testimony presented, the scientific information presented and the rules that were given to them by the Honorable Judge Perry to guide them. The family hopes that they will be given the time by the media to reflect on this verdict and decide the best way to move forward privately."

So how much did that dysfunction play into the jurors' decision? Defense attorney Jose Baez's explosive claims that Casey Anthony became a pathological liar because she was used to covering up sexual abuse could have led some jurors to understand how the young mother could have covered up an accidental death, some experts have said.

But Wendy Murphy, a former prosecutor who teaches at New England Law School in Boston, said she didn't believe the jury was swayed by any of the shocking claims -- either about the abuse or of the initial defense claim that Caylee accidentally drowned in the family pool.

"I think the jury doesn't care one whit about it, because they expect parents to lie on behalf of their children and to have divided loyalties," she said.

Murphy said she wasn't at all surprised by the verdict. In fact, last month Murphy predicted Casey Anthony would be acquitted.

"I didn't hear any evidence at all that they have that Casey Anthony actually killed her child," Murphy told the "Today" show on June 8. "There's plenty that she lied. Plenty she was a bad mother. Plenty she probably participated in burying the body, maybe even covering up the crime. But I didn't hear one thing that put Casey Anthony at the murder scene."

"If you don't have motive and opportunity and intent, there's reasonable doubt all over the place," she told tonight.

Murphy also said Cindy Anthony's claims that she was the one who performed the computer searches -- a claim which was later proved false -- also didn't have an impact.

"They may have known ... that Cindy lied" about doing the searches, she said, "but they think to themselves, 'I wonder if I would do the same thing for my kid? I probably would.'"

While the public may have understood Cindy Anthony's motivation, they appear to be less forgiving of what they view as the smearing of the other Anthony family members by Casey Anthony's defense team.

Kathleen Zellner, a defense attorney who was not involved in the case, said Casey Anthony can never return to the life she once had.

"I'm sure people will offer her money, book deals -- she may in that way profit from this. But emotionally her life has been destroyed," she said. "Her child is dead and her parents have been injured, I don't know how you put that back together. ... People will always believe that she's guilty.

"I don't know how you say 'I'm sorry I accused you of sexually abusing me,'" Zellner added. "It's awful it happened that way. I don't know how the Anthony family will ever recover from that. Because what you hope is that people don't think, well, since they found her not guilty, her father must be guilty, or her brother must be guilty."

Casey Anthony will be sentenced Thursday on the charges for which she was convicted: four counts of providing false information to law enforcement, which are misdemeanors.

ABC News' Jessica Hopper contributed to this story.

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