It was five years ago today that people from around the world tuned in to watch a verdict being read in an infamous Central Florida case.

  • A look back on the trial and what lead up to it
  • Allegations from a private investigator claims Anthony lawyer said she killed daughter

A jury deliberated for about 11 hours before finding Casey Anthony not guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and aggravated manslaughter in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee.

Anthony cried and hugged her attorney as the verdict was read. Anthony escaped the possibility of a death sentence.

"The saga of Casey Anthony continues, even after five years," said retired judge, Belvin Perry Jr., who presided over the case. "No one can ever forget that little girl, with that $1 million smile. With that look, that was like simple magnetism."

It's that magnetism, Perry said, that drew people in — and why the case still lives on as the public continues to wonder what happened to Caylee.

Anthony's daughter disappeared in June 2008. Her body was found in the woods near her grandparents' home six months later. In May 2011, the defense's opening statement stunned the courtroom as they placed the blame on the woman's father, George Anthony.

But, it was the July 5 verdict that the world became fixated upon, drawing passion on both sides.

"I don't think anybody will ever forget about (Caylee)," Perry said. "I think people think about her. The whole case was about justice for Caylee."

When asked if that justice was ever achieved, Perry explained it depends on one's definition of justice.

"The system worked," he said. "Was it the outcome that most people wanted? No, but the system worked."

Though she was acquitted of heftier charges, Anthony was found guilty of providing false information to a law enforcement officer.

Earlier this year in May, News 13 shared court documents that have a private investigator and lead defense attorney at odds.

In a sworn affidavit, a private investigator hired by the defense alleges attorney Jose Baez told him "Casey (Anthony) had murdered Caylee," among other revelations.

Baez denied all allegations, saying the private investigator has a "history of making false and outrageous claims, not only to court officials, but to the media."

Perry, too, read the claims, calling them "weighty and somewhat incredible."

"But, I think in the end, the truth will come out," Perry said.

As for returning to normal life after the Casey Anthony case, Perry said it was impossible: It follows him wherever he goes.

"It changed me in the sense that there's no place I can go without being recognized," he said.

The retired judge said that leading up to the verdict —  and even after it — he couldn't go to the grocery store or a restaurant without people coming up to him. They wanted to talk about the case and share their thoughts. He said he had to simply walk away.