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Casey Anthony's Lawyer: 'I Knew I Had Saved Her Life'

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Jul. 6 2011, Published 8:00 a.m. ET

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By Adam S. Levy - Staff Writer

Casey Anthony's defense attorney Jose Baez has granted his first network TV interview since Tuesday’s stunning verdict, telling Barbara Walters "the happiest moment of the trial came after the first not guilty, because I knew I had saved her life.”

Casey was let off the hook when the jury found her not guilty on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated manslaughter and aggravated child abuse in the 2008 death of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee.

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Baez said he knew his defense had an “outstanding” chance, but he was concerned about public “misconceptions” that Casey was not a good mother.

Asked about Casey's actions in the month following Caylee’s death -- not reporting it for more than 30 days, partying in that time, and lying to investigators -- Baez said "the 31 days has been kept out there a lot through various media reports, and people just can't get there out of their mind.

"The actions that she took were things that people could not condone but this was not a murder case and the jury could see that, and thankfully our system worked ... people grieve in many different ways and respond to trauma in many different ways."

Baez said Anthony is "very misunderstood" by the public: "They think she's a monster, a cold-hearted killer and nothing could be further from the truth."

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As far as the molestations he alleged against Casey's father George -- in trying to illustrate how she was conditioned to lie from a young age -- Baez said that while he could not prove the sexual abuse took place, "every statement made was done with a good faith basis" with Casey.

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Baez's David & Goliath-esque victory over prosecutors comes as even more of a shock when you consider he's only been practicing law for five years. The Miami Herald dubbed the 42-year-old lawyer a “former bikini salesman, high school dropout and deadbeat dad who barely made it into the Florida bar.”

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While Anthony was found guilty on four counts of lying to law enforcement officers, she's expected to be released following her sentencing on Thursday, having already spent nearly three years in custody.

The sentencing is scheduled for 9 am ET Thursday, and will live stream the hearing as it happens.



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