Casey Anthony Juror: 'Sick to our Stomachs' Over Verdict

July 6, 2011 Updated Jul 6, 2011 at 5:49 PM EDT

By Mary Kate Burke, Jessica Hopper and Enjoli Francis of ABC News


Casey Anthony Juror: 'Sick to our Stomachs' Over Verdict

July 6, 2011 Updated Jul 6, 2011 at 5:49 PM EDT

(ABC News) Casey Anthony juror Jennifer Ford said today that she and the other jurors cried and were "sick to our stomachs" after voting to acquit Casey Anthony of charges that she killed her 2-year-old daughter Caylee.

"I did not say she was innocent," said Ford, who had previously only been identified as juror number 3. "I just said there was not enough evidence. If you cannot prove what the crime was, you cannot determine what the punishment should be."

The jury's not guilty verdict shocked court observers, but it was also a difficult moment for the panel, Ford said in an exclusive interview with ABC News. No one from the jury was willing to come out and talk to the media in the hours after the verdict.

"Everyone wonders why we didn't speak to the media right away," Ford said. "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."

Instead of murder, Casey Anthony, 25, was found guilty of four counts of lying to law enforcement and could be released from jail as early as Thursday.

Ford praised the jurors.

"They picked a great bunch of people, such high integrity. And there was high morale," she said. "We all joked. We are like a big group of cousins."

Earlier Wednesday, the prosecutor and an alternate juror agreed on why the jury had refused to convict Anthony: They couldn't prove how little Caylee Anthony died.

"It all came down to the evidence," said Florida state attorney Jeff Ashton on "The View." "I think ultimately it all came down to -- at least from what the one alternate said -- it came down to the cause of death."

Russell Huekler, one of five alternate jurors who were present for all the testimony and sequestered along with the 12 other jurors, said today that he would have delivered the same verdict and that he was shocked by the public outrage over the trial's outcome.

"The prosecution failed to prove their case and there was reasonable doubt. Again, they didn't show us how Caylee died. They didn't show us a motive. I'm sorry people feel that way. ... These were 17 total jurors. They really listened to this case and kept an open mind," Huekler said.

The prosecution was hampered by the fact that Caylee Anthony's body wasn't discovered until six months after she disappeared. She was found lying in a swampy, wooded area. Her body was so badly decomposed that the autopsy could not determine a cause of death and stated only that she was a victim of homicide by undetermined means.

"I don't think it was the lack of DNA" connecting Casey Anthony to her daughter's death that undermined the case, Ashton said. "It was the cause of death."

Ashton said that he and his team felt they put on a good case.

"We were pretty shocked" at the verdict, he said. "We put on everything that an investigation, a really thorough investigation over three years, produced. That's the way it goes. I think I mouthed 'Wow' five times."

One of the most powerful pieces of evidence, he said, was the photo of Caylee's decomposed skull with the pieces of duct tape where her mouth and nose would have been.

"What I've said all along is if a jury looks at that photograph and doesn't see it the way I do and doesn't know how she died, then so be it," Ashton said. "I wouldn't have been involved in this case if I didn't think she did it."

Huekler said he believed Caylee's death was just a horrific accident and that Casey Anthony was a good mother.

"The first number of witnesses were Casey's friend and every time that they said they saw Casey with Caylee, it was a loving relationship and no one provided evidence to the contrary," Huekler said.

Huekler said the lack of physical evidence that Caylee was murdered overwhelmed the circumstantial evidence of Casey Anthony's many lies and her hard partying in the 31 days when she knew her daughter was dead but didn't tell authorities.

"Yeah, the behavior was bizarre, but what I took from that is that the family was very dysfunctional. Because they were so dysfunctional, that was the norm for them. Casey didn't just start lying for the first 31 days [after Caylee disappeared]. She had been lying for the past two years...I felt it was the norm for her," Huekler said.

Huekler also said it didn't bother him that Casey Anthony did not testify in her own defense.

Mark Lippman, a lawyer for Anthony's parents, said on "Good Morning America" today that George and Cindy Anthony were shocked by the verdict, not because they believe Casey Anthony is guilty, but because they thought the state did a fantastic job presenting their case.

George and Cindy Anthony have not met with their daughter since her trial began, but they hope to meet with her and to one day get the truth about what happened to Caylee.

"There was a slim chance that we were hoping to get some sliver of truth during this trial and that would have been by testimony from Casey…hopefully one day she'll tell her story, but who knows what to believe," Lippman said.

Casey Anthony's defense team argued that Caylee accidentally drowned in the family pool and that George Anthony, Casey Anthony's father, helped dispose of the body. In the trial's shocking opening statement, Baez said that Casey Anthony hid her daughter's death in the same way she hid years of sexual abuse by her father and brother.

Defense attorney Jose Baez was not allowed to bring up the alleged abuse in closing arguments because Judge Belvin Perry said there was no proof any abuse occurred. Huekler said that the omission of abuse in closing arguments, did not hurt the defense's case.

Lippman, George and Cindy Anthony's attorney, denied the abuse allegations again today on Good Morning America.

"My client George Anthony and Lee Anthony never molested her and George Anthony had nothing to do with moving the body. And the rest of the things the defense said about my clients in particular never happened," Lippman said. "This case has destroyed everyone's reputation. Even if it's baseless, there's people out there that are going to believe...for their rest of their lives... what the defense told them."

Casey Anthony will be sentenced Thursday morning for the four misdemeanors she was found guilty of committing.

ABC News' Ashley Bridges and Miseon Lee contributed to this report