Judge Belvin Perry 'shocked' by verdict in Casey Anthony murder trial

Anthony found not guilty of murder in death of daughter Caylee

Published On: May 06 2013 03:44:25 PM EDT
Judge Belvin Perry
NEW YORK -

The judge who presided over the Casey Anthony murder trial said on the "Today" show Monday morning that he was shocked by the verdict.

Nearly two years after the trial, in which Anthony was found not guilty of murder in the death of her daughter, Caylee, Perry opened up about the case. Perry said he had to read the "not guilty" verdict form twice to make sure he was reading it correctly.

Perry said he thought there was enough evidence to find Anthony guilty of first-degree murder, but he credited the defense for presenting a case creating reasonable doubt.  Perry likened Anthony's lead attorney, Jose Baez, to a "likeable salesperson."

"The state had better lawyers. But Mr. Baez was very personable. And he came across as someone you would like," Perry said. "It's like somebody trying to sell a used car. Who are you going to buy it from? The most likable salesperson."

Perry also said Anthony portrayed two sides: a grieving mother when the jury was present and a manipulative, controlling person when jurors were not in the courtroom.

When asked if justice has been served, Perry replied, "Well, justice has been served in that the jury has spoken. But justice will be served one day by the Judge of Judges. And she will have to deal with this and live with this the rest of her life."

Perry also discussed the day before the end of the trial, in which prosecutors offered Anthony a deal if she agreed to plead guilty to aggravated manslaughter. When Anthony's lawyers told their client about the deal in a holding cell near the judge's chamber, Perry says he could hear Anthony yelling and using a few profanities. 

WKMG-TV in Orlando asked Baez about Perry's appearance on NBC's "Today" show, but he didn't want to comment.