In an appearance with Imus yesterday, Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi, the bureau chief of the Kings County district attorney’s homicide division, expressed her (inaccurate) belief that Casey Anthony would be convicted of murdering her two-year old daughter Caylee. “I was as shocked as everyone on this one,” she admitted today.
Though she is surprised Anthony was acquitted, Nicolazzi remains a “big believer” in this country’s jury system. “This group of 12 people were chosen to make this decision, and they did, so I respect it,” she said. “And I hope everyone decides to respect their verdict, whether we agree with it or not. But I hope they did not buy into the defense’s theory of accident.”
Anthony’s defense attorneys maintained that their client arrived home one day to find Caylee had accidentally drowned in the family’s pool, and that her grandfather (Casey’s father) suggested they make Caylee’s death look like a murder.
“It wasn’t proven in any way,” Nicolazzi said, and supposed the jury needed more evidence to prove Casey’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. As such, she concluded, “They weren’t willing to come back with such serious charges against someone.”
Unlike some critics, Nicolazzi did not accuse the prosecutors of “overcharging” Anthony by going for a first-degree murder conviction that would have included the death penalty. “As a prosecutor, we have to charge as high as we can based on the evidence,” she said. “Now, obviously we should not overcharge, but by the same token we should not undercharge.”
The jury was given the option of finding Anthony guilty of everything form premeditated murder all the way down to manslaughter, indicating that mere negligence had led to Caylee’s death. But without a smoking gun, without an admission by Caylee, without a witness, Nicolazzi believes the jury just couldn’t convict her of killing her daughter.
The jury members have, so far, remained silent. “Everyone is shocked and outraged,” Nicolazzi said, because, “It’s not a popular verdict by any means.” Eventually, she thinks they’ll trickle out of the woodworks, but for now, after six weeks away from home, many of the jurors probably simply want their lives back.
Which is something Casey Anthony might have to think about soon, too. She’ll be sentenced tomorrow for the charges of which she was found guilty—four counts of lying to law enforcement officials—but the judge could very well decide that the three years she has already spent in prison have been enough.
Imus thanked his guest for coming on the show two days in a row, and she thanked her lucky stars she managed to stay out of trouble in both instances. Not to worry, Counselor.
“We have to know you a little better before we try to cause trouble,” Imus promised.
But only a little.