Mich. ME Says He Is Not Surprised Casey Anthony Was Acquitted

Casey Anthony Acquitted Of 1st-Degree Murder Charge

Published On: Oct 02 2011 05:02:26 PM EDT   Updated On: Jul 05 2011 10:10:01 AM EDT
DETROIT -

Former Macomb and Wayne counties Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Werner Spitz said he did not think Casey Anthony would be convicted of first-degree murder.

Jurors began deliberating Monday in the murder trial in Florida after hearing prosecutors argue the woman killed her 2-year-old daughter Caylee because the toddler interrupted her carefree partying and love life.

After less than 11 hours of deliberation, a jury Tuesday found Casey Anthony not guilty of first-degree murder and the other most serious charges against her in the 2008 death of her 2-year-old daughter.

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But the jury convicted her on four misdemeanor counts of providing false information to law enforcement officers.

Spitz had said Anthony would absolutely be acquitted of first-degree murder and that the evidence from the original autopsy on Caylee Anthony did nothing to support the murder charge. He said all evidence was circumstantial, and that would not be enough for a guilty verdict.

"The only counts that were based on fact were the lying to police counts. That is all. For that you don't get anything even remotely suggestive of the (other) counts that she was charged with," Spitz said Tuesday after the verdict. "It's not surprising that she was found not guilty."

Spitz repeated that he thought the original autopsy was "shoddy."

"I cannot be slammed for suggesting that the autopsy was shoddy, because it was shoddy," Spitz said. "If a pathologist, a medical examiner who works for the state, receives a skeleton where the possibility is a trial where first-degree murder is one of the counts, any stone should not be left unturned."

Spitz, a world-renowned forensics pathologist, flew down to Florida in June to testify for the defense during the trial.

?My main testimony is that the autopsy was shoddy. The autopsy wasn?t worth the paper it was written on, actually,? he said.

Spitz called Orlando medical examiner's neglect to open the child's skull during the original autopsy a failure. He said opening up the skull can be used to rule out certain conditions, and he said he's looked over cases where opening the skull has been the difference in ruling the cause of death.

Spitz said based on the evidence, you can not rule out an accidental death.

?There?s no alternative. If she didn?t die of what the prosecution said the kid died of, there?s nothing to offer the jury of what she may have died of. Except for, again, she could have this and she could have that. That negates the prosecution?s allegation that she died of asphyxiation,? he said. ?Will they believe that? That?s the main question.?

?They are going to have to reason this all out through the nitty gritty and very detail. Eventually, I think they?re going to come back with a much lesser degree," he said.

Prosecutors in their rebuttal closing argument earlier Monday said the defense's assertion that Caylee's death was an accident made no sense.

Anthony's attorneys said the girl drowned in the family's pool.

They said Anthony panicked and that her father, a former police officer, decided to make the death look like a homicide by placing duct tape over the child's mouth and dumping the body in some nearby woods. George Anthony has denied that.

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