Casey Anthony released from jail but long and possibly dangerous road lies ahead

Casey Anthony was released from jail on Sunday twelve days after being acquitted on charges of murdering her daughter Caylee. Her release was closely guarded by police in bulletproof vests, and Casey’s final destination was kept secret. As Sarah Anne Hughes reported:

Casey Anthony left a Florida jail Sunday evening after being acquitted of charges that she murdered her daughter, Caylee, and serving a shortened sentence for lying to police.

One of Anthony’s attorneys, Cheney Mason, told the “Today” show Monday that Anthony is “safe,” but would not release details about her whereabouts.

Several outlets, including “Today,” have reported that Anthony may have boarded a private jet to Columbus, Ohio. But a flight manifest hasn’t been released and this information has not been confirmed.

MediaTakeOut.com has purportedly located Anthony in Columbus. Editor Fred Mwangaguhunga said in an e-mail to The Washington Post that the site was prepared to report her address, but the decision was made not to release the “exact address” after they were made aware that it would put her “in immediate danger.”

On Facebook, there are several Facebook groups with a variation of the title, “Kill Casey Anthony.” A member of one of the larger groups posted this message: “Ladies and Gentlemen, Casey Anthony is now OUT OF JAIL. Here's what I have to say to that: “What we wish would happen is for a hard target search of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse, and dog house in EVERY area, EVERY state, city, and town and country. Your killer's NAME — is MS. Casey Anthony .... she's out .... let the countdown begin!”

As Casey’s release date drew closer television crews and a crowd of spectators gathered outside of the jail in anticipation. Several expressed their anger at her acquittal while others showed support for Casey. As AP explained:

Casey Anthony was spending her last hours in jail Saturday night preparing for an uncertain future after nearly three years behind bars.

Orange County Jail officials planned to release Anthony some time Sunday under circumstances they refused to disclose. Experts said she would likely be released in the dead of night, and her defense team will try to keep her away from the glare of the media spotlight.

That could be difficult: More than a dozen television trucks and scores of reporters and cameramen were outside the jail by 11 p.m. Local television stations went live with coverage Saturday night.

Law enforcement officials put up plastic barricades around the jail’s booking and release center, and about seven or eight deputies wearing bullet-proof vests patrolled the area. At least one officer carried an assault weapon. About five officers patrolled the area on horseback.

As midnight approached, upward of 100 spectators had gathered outside the jail. The crowd included about a half-dozen, sign-carrying protesters who had gathered there, despite a thunderstorm that brought heavy rain over Orlando. Barbara Tobin, a semi-retired teacher, drove up from Fort Lauderdale and held a “Justice for Caylee” sign.

“I’m disgusted and feel justice has not been served,” she said. “It has really made me feel that there is something wrong with our justice system.” The anti-Casey Anthony protesters intermittently chanted, “Caylee, Caylee.” One man, Tim Allen, 24, held the “Casey, will you marry me” sign he carried during her sentencing hearing earlier this month.

While Casey is no longer facing a possible death sentence, her options after release have been limited by the media spotlight on the case and the outpouring of negative emotion nationwide over her acquittal. As AP reported:

Casey Anthony’s whereabouts for her first week of freedom were a closely guarded secret Monday, known only to a select few as she tries to start a new life after being acquitted of killing her daughter. One of her lawyers says an elaborate plan was made to protect her from people with “the lynch-mob mentality.”

Her options for starting a new life could be limited by lawsuits pending against her, the scorn of multitudes who think she was guilty of the killing and a criminal record from her convictions for lying to police. She walked out of jail shortly after midnight Sunday.

Asked about how Anthony was paying for her fresh start, Mason replied that many volunteers have offered their help.

Her notoriety could also help her earn money. Experts who have helped other notorious defendants through rough times say she will have opportunities, but it won’t be easy for the 25-year-old, who was found not guilty of killing her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, but convicted of lying to investigators.

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