US & Canada

Casey Anthony to be freed despite four-year sentence

Casey Anthony at the sentencing hearing on Thursday
Image caption Casey Anthony was cleared of murdering her daughter but convicted of lying to police

US single mother Casey Anthony has been sentenced to four years in prison for lying to police investigating the 2008 death of her two-year-old daughter.

Anthony was cleared this week of murder and other charges in the disappearance and death of Caylee Anthony.

The case in Orlando, Florida, has gripped the US since Caylee vanished.

Anthony, 25, is to be given credit for time already served before the trial, and will be released next Wednesday, the Associated Press reports.

Catalogue of lies

She was convicted on Tuesday of lying to investigators after she reported Caylee missing in the summer of 2008 - more than a month after the girl actually disappeared.

Anthony told detectives that she worked at the Universal Studios theme park, that she had spoken to Caylee by telephone during her alleged disappearance, and that the toddler had been in the care of a never-identified nanny before she went missing.

All of those assertions were found to be lies during the course of the trial.

Prosecutors said Anthony suffocated Caylee in 2008 because she kept her back from a life of partying. They alleged that she told those lies to throw investigators off the case.

At first, Anthony said the girl was kidnapped by a nanny, then at trial said she drowned in a swimming pool.

After a six-week trial covered extensively by the news media, a jury cleared her of murder and child abuse charges.

On Thursday, Ms Anthony's lawyers argued unsuccessfully that the four counts of lying to police should be considered a single crime for the purpose of sentencing.

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