I've been covering the Casey and Caylee Anthony saga since day one, and since the verdict, there have been two people I have been dying to interview: Casey Anthony and Chief Judge Belvin Perry Jr. On Monday, Judge Perry finally answered some of my questions about the case.
So what did Judge Perry Jr. consider to be the biggest shock to you in this case?
"The news media coverage, how this case totally captivated America and even overseas in places," he said.
Judge Perry admits that, from the day he first took the bench in this case, nothing was normal.
"Dealing with the personalities, dealing with the lawyers, dealing with the media, dealing with everything associated with this case."
Perry is a well seasoned judge and attorney who has spent more than three decades practicing law. He admits that the verdict surprised him.
"I wanted to make sure my eyes were not fooling me," he said when he looked at the verdict. " It was a little bit of disbelief, shock. I always knew it was a possibility."
The jury found Casey Anthony not guilty on the first degree murder and child neglect charges against her. When asked if he thought the jury got it wrong, he replied, "I will always respect the jury's verdict and the job asked of them." He added, "I'm not going to second guess them. They listened to it. They applied the law."
Judge Perry said that, if you go back and dissect the case bit by bit, you see that the state did not argue for any lesser offenses.
"Mr. Baez indicated in his opening statement that this issue would be dealing with how did she die. With a dry bones case, you can't determine how did someone die. There are a number of factors that may have caused reasonable double in the mind of the jurors," Perry said.
When asked if he believed that Casey Anthony got away with murder, Perry responded, "It doesn't matter what I think, whether she got away with something or not. The ultimate judge of that will be the judge of judges. She knows what happened. She has to live with it, whatever it was."
Throughout the trial and to this day Anthony has maintained her innocence. Judge Perry said she lost it when the state tested the waters mid trial on the possibility of a plea deal.
"What the state was waiting to see was, whether or not she would accept aggravated manslaughter before they began dickering. That's when the fireworks began," said Perry. "She was not too happy. She was irate. She was very loud and boisterous. I couldn't exactly make out what she was saying, because she was in a holding cell, but there were a few four-letter words."
Perry said he's glad this case is now behind him. He took four days off after the trial and he's been back on bench ever since.