ORLANDO - A little over nine days after being acquitted of charges that she murdered her child, Casey Anthony is now a free woman.
She was released from custody on Sunday morning a little after midnight.
As expected, where she was headed was not revealed to the media. A single pool camera recorded her release.
Casey spent nearly three years in the Orange County Jail while awaiting trial, including a short time in the Pinellas County Jail during jury selection.
After a lengthy trial, she was found not guilty on July 7 of killing 2-year-old Caylee Anthony in the summer of 2008. It was a verdict that shocked many, sparking outrage and national debate.
Several jurors, including the foreman, eventually broke their silence. They said that while they did not think Casey was inncocent, the prosecution failed to prove that Casey killed her daughter.
The jury foremen said some jurors cried and that he felt sick when he signed off on the verdicts. On Friday's "Good Morning America" the foreman, who was not identified, said he didn't look at Casey when the verdict was read and would walk the other way if he ever sees her again.
Casey was, however, found guilty of four misdemeanor counts of lying to investigators. Those verdicts are now being appealed.
Chief Judge belvin Perry sentenced her to the maximum: one year in jail on each count to run concurrently and a $1,000 fine for each count.
Because of time already served behind bars, a calculation showed she would be released very soon, on Sunday, July 17.
Once again, there was public outcry and more national debate.
Some states are now considering "Caylee's Law" which would make it a crime to delay reporting a missing child. Caylee had not been seen for 31 days before she was reported missing.
Speculation over what Casey will do and where she will go has run rampant since she was acquitted. There have been reports that she will alter her looks, go into hiding, change her name, leave the country...the list goes on.
Some of those close to her believe she does not grasp the degree of hatred many feel for her. There have been reports of numerous death threats.
Even her parents, George and Cindy Anthony, have received threats on their lives.
Freedom does not mean that Casey's legal troubles are over. She faces a lawsuit from Equusearch, a Texas-based non-profit organization that mounted two large scale searches for Caylee, who Casey already knew was dead.
She also is being sued for defamation by a woman named Zenaida Gonzalez. Casey said a woman with the same name kidnapped Caylee, which turned out to be a lie.
One of Casey's attorneys acknowledges that they will need lengthy counseling as she begins a new life that will undoubtedly be dangerously different than her old one.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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