OTR Interviews

Inside the Mind of a Casey Anthony Juror: 'The System Did Work'

Alternate juror in Casey Anthony trial speaks out


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," July 5, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Chaos. Now, that was the scene earlier today as protesters swarmed the Orlando courthouse. Meanwhile, inside, Casey Anthony was learning of her fate. The jury found Casey not guilty of murdering her own daughter, Caylee. The 12 jurors are now zipping their lips. They left Orlando right after the verdict was read and headed home without saying a word.

But there were five alternate jurors in the courtroom, and Russell Huekler, known as Juror Number 14, was one of them. He joins us on the phone. Russell, thank you for joining us.

RUSSELL HUEKLER, ALTERNATE JUROR (Via Telephone): You're welcome.

VAN SUSTEREN: Russell, after listening to all the evidence on all those days and weeks of the evidence, did the prosecution convince you beyond a reasonable doubt as to how Caylee died?

HUEKLER: No, they did not.

VAN SUSTEREN: What were you convinced of when you left, or what did you think happened to Caylee when you left the courtroom at the end?

HUEKLER: I personally thought it horrific accident that happened, that the family knows a lot more, obviously, than what has been said and (INAUDIBLE) it was an accident snowballed.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why did you think it was an accident? Was it something the defense said or something the prosecution failed to do?

HUEKLER: It was something the prosecutor ... prosecution failed to do. They didn't show any evidence of how Caylee died. And if you can't show the evidence then a murder charge doesn't stand up. So I thought it a horrific accident. That's my opinion.

VAN SUSTEREN: In terms of trying to piece this case together, did you have -- come to some conclusion as to how the duct tape came to be around that child's remains?

HUEKLER: Well, one explanation that was brought out was how the Anthonys had buried their pets. George was very -- he can't remember how he buried his pets or maybe he remembered one or two. Cindy got up there and said, Oh, yes, we buried our pets (INAUDIBLE) and we used packaging tape around it. But then Lee came up and said, No, we buried our pets using garbage bags and we used duct tape. I think that's how they disposed of Caylee's body.

VAN SUSTEREN: In opening statement, Jose Baez said that George had molested Casey Anthony. Did you believe that or buy that or do you think that happened?

HUEKLER: I didn't -- well, you got to remember, you know, opening statements are not evidence. And you know, there was no discussions of that, no presentation. So for me, I didn't even consider that at all.

VAN SUSTEREN: So that didn't mean anything as to how the child died or did not die? That was just something that sort of collateral, is that a fair way to describe it?

HUEKLER: I wouldn't say collateral. That was, you know, speculation on other parts, but not on myself.

VAN SUSTEREN: Were you surprised that Casey didn't testify, and did you want to hear from her?

HUEKLER: No, I wasn't surprised. (INAUDIBLE) U.S. government and one of the things, you know, I teach with my kids is you're a defendant, you don't have to -- you're not required to testify against you [yourself]. I would have been real surprised if the defense would have put her up there because, yes, there was a ... a large amount of lies. But you have to remember these lies had started, you know, two years prior -- you know, to Caylee's death. So I would not ...I personally would not have ... I didn't expect to hear from her.

VAN SUSTEREN: What did you think about the fact that between about June 16th, 2008, and then sometime in August, when Casey -- well, actually, sometime in July, when the 911 call was placed -- what did you think about Casey's behavior? What impact did that have on your thinking?

HUEKLER: Actually, the behavior was ... you know, but, again, the evidence that did come out that this family is dysfunctional ... it's a dysfunctional family (INAUDIBLE) bizarre, but again, it didn't -- it didn't (INAUDIBLE) it didn't show, you know, how Caylee was -- how Caylee died. The prosecution didn't show it. They didn't present motive to us until the very end, when they said, "Oh, you know, Casey was a party girl."

Well, I don't think that's motive to kill your child, and especially since she, you know, had the grandparents, you know, Cindy and George, as a support there for whenever she did want to go out. S,o her behavior was -- Casey's behavior was bizarre. But personally, the whole family's behavior was fairly bizarre.

VAN SUSTEREN: How difficult was it to be sequestered?

HUEKLER: It was tough; it was difficult. It was tough. You know, I got to, you know, see my children twice during the six weeks. My daughter left for Europe. My son left for different wrestling camps. And by the time this is all over with, I would not have seen them, you know, for two-and-half months. It was tough.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why do you think that the jurors left today and didn't want to talk, the 12 who reached the verdict?

HUEKLER: I don't want to speculate, you know, why they didn't. I can speak for myself ... I would speak to the media. I didn't expect the amount of media attention that this case brought. And I'm still baffled by the sensationalism of this case. It just (INAUDIBLE).

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you walk away from this experience -- I realize it was tough to be sequestered, but do you walk away from being a juror on the case and thinking that the system works or doesn't work? Are you proud of it, not proud of it? What do you think?

HUEKLER: Oh, I'm very proud. I'm very proud of this system because it just proves, you know, that we are innocent until proven guilty. The system did work. The -- there was (INAUDIBLE) ... the system did work. And as a government teacher, I got a lot of lessons, you know, to teach, you know, my students in the upcoming years about how our court systems work.

VAN SUSTEREN: Russell, thank you very much. And I know it's particularly hard because you all were sequestered because that's -- that makes it, you know, 10 times as rough to serve on a jury. Russell, thank you very much.