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ABC has scored the first interview with a juror in the Casey Anthony trial.
“I did not say she was innocent,” says Jennifer Ford in explaining the not guilty verdict. “I just said there was not enough evidence. If you cannot prove what the crime was, you cannot determine what the punishment should be.”
Still, after delivering their decision to acquit Casey of murdering her 2-year-old daughter Caylee, she and and her fellow jurors cried and felt “sick to our stomach,” she says. They made a pact not to speak to the media right away.
“Everyone wonders why we didn’t speak to the media right away,” Ford says. “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, who is a 32-year-old nursing student, says the jury had “a lot of conflicting ideas” about whether Casey killed her daughter. The first vote was 10-2 for not guilty.
“I toggled on manslaughter and not guilty,” she says. “It doesn’t feel good. It was a horrible decision to have to make.”
She said she believed the defense that Caylee accidentally drowned and the family hid the body over the evidence that the prosecutors delivered that Casey killed her daughter.
“I’m not saying I believe the defense,” she says. “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.”
She says there were too many unanswered questions about Caylee’s death.
“If there was a dead child in that trunk, does that prove how she died? No idea, still no idea,” Ford says. “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.”
ABC News says it did not pay for the interview with Ford, conducted by Terry Moran in Orlando, where the trial was held. A meter reader who stumbled upon Caylee’s remains testified that ABC News had paid him $15,000 for a photo of a snake in exchange for his interview. The news division also paid Casey $200,000 in 2008 to license photos.
ABC also landed the first interview with defense attorney Jose Baez, which they said they did not pay for either. Barbara Walters will conduct the sit-down.
Both sit-downs aired on Primetime Nightline at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT on Wednesday and will continue to air on several other ABC news programs over the next week.
A judge announced Thursday that Casey will be released from jail in July or August.
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