Casey Anthony leaves Florida under heavy guard

Posted July 17, 2011, at 9:31 a.m.
Last modified July 17, 2011, at 6:18 p.m.
Casey Anthony (front right) walks out of the Orange County Jail with her attorney Jose Baez (left) during her release in Orlando, Fla., early Sunday, July 17, 2011. Anthony was acquitted last week of murder in the death of her daughter, Caylee.
Red Huber, Pool | AP
Casey Anthony (front right) walks out of the Orange County Jail with her attorney Jose Baez (left) during her release in Orlando, Fla., early Sunday, July 17, 2011. Anthony was acquitted last week of murder in the death of her daughter, Caylee.
Protesters show their displeasure after Casey Anthony was released from the Orange County Jail in Orlando, Fla., early Sunday, July 17, 2011.
Phelan M. Ebenhack | AP
Protesters show their displeasure after Casey Anthony was released from the Orange County Jail in Orlando, Fla., early Sunday, July 17, 2011.
Mounted officers from the Orange County Sheriff's Department move protesters off the street as Casey Anthony was released from the Orange County Jail in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, July 17, 2011.
Phelan M. Ebenhack | AP
Mounted officers from the Orange County Sheriff's Department move protesters off the street as Casey Anthony was released from the Orange County Jail in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, July 17, 2011.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Casey Anthony is free.

Three years and one day after her daughter was reported missing and she was jailed, 25-year-old Casey Anthony was released from the Orange County Jail shortly after midnight, loaded into a vehicle and whisked away to an undisclosed location.

As her car left the jail property, some of the hundreds of spectators and protesters on the jail perimeter shouted “Killer!”

After a short drive on I-4 eastbound, the SUV she was driving in turned into downtown Orlando and then into the parking garage of her attorney Cheney Mason’s office. The speculation is that they will switch vehicles and maybe there will even be several different “decoy” vehicles waiting there.

Free from any of the charges that she killed her 2-year-old daughter, Casey Anthony is out of jail, with no restrictions on her freedom.

Moments before midnight, more than a dozen Orange County Sheriff’s deputies were lined up, in formation, in their cars on the back side of the jail, as if they were preparing a road escort. It’s not yet clear whether they, in fact, escorted Anthony and her attorneys from the jail.

At 11:40 p.m., a dark-colored SUV and a white car pulled into the back side of the jail, and were escorted onto the property by a deputy. There were two men inside the SUV, and a man and woman were inside the car. There were clothes in the back of the car.

It’s not clear where Anthony will go now that she is free, but it’s likely to include tight security. The attorney representing her in a defamation case said he received seven threats against Anthony Friday.

While she has been safe inside the jail and held in a single cell away from the main population, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said it does not plan on providing any personal security for her once she leaves.

Her attorneys have kept quiet about where she will live. Her parents say she will not be allowed to go to their home, according to published reports.

Earlier this month the community was outraged when a jury found Anthony not guilty in the murder of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee Marie.

In 2008, Anthony told detectives and her family a baby-sitter kidnapped Caylee and she waited 31 days to report her daughter missing because she was conducting her own investigation. She was later indicted on a first-degree murder charge and faced the death penalty.

The child’s remains were found in a wooded lot a few blocks from the Anthony’s east Orange County home.

But when the trial began in May, attorney Jose Baez told the jury Caylee was never missing and drowned in the backyard pool. He further claimed George Anthony found his dead granddaughter and disposed of her body.

Baez also claimed Anthony was a victim of molestation at the hands of her father and brother, Lee Anthony. Both men have denied Baez’s claims.

While the jury acquitted her of the most serious charges, she was found guilty of misdemeanor counts of lying to police. Protesters gathered outside of the Orange County courthouse the day she was sentenced.

As she leaves the jail, Casey Anthony takes with her more than $500 from her commissary account.

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