Judge Belvin Perry announces retirement

Perry presided over Casey Anthony murder trial

ORLANDO, Fla. - Orange-Osceola Chief Judge Belvin Perry Jr., who gained international fame while presiding over the Casey Anthony murder trial, announced Monday that he's resigning effective August 31.

In a letter to Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Perry, 64, said it's been an honor and privilege to serve the citizens of Orange and Osceola counties for nearly 25 years.

"I will be forever grateful to the citizens for their support and faith in me during my 36 years of public service both as a Judge and an Assistant State Attorney," Perry wrote.

Perry presided over Anthony's 2011 murder trial. Anthony was acquitted of killing her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, following a trial that attracted worldwide attention. She was convicted of making false statements to police and got credit for time served.

Perry said Anthony's trial was the most challenging case he worked on. In an interview last year, he said he thought there was sufficient evidence for a conviction on a first-degree murder charge, even though much of the evidence was circumstantial. Perry was criticized by Anthony's attorneys for his statements.

Perry says he's most proud of his work with the mental health programs at the jail.

It's not known what the future holds for Perry, but he said he plans to remain active in the community. He wouldn't comment on whether he may be talking with private law firms for work in the future.

"I am looking forward to the next chapter in my life," he said.

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