Belvin Perry, Jr.: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Judge Belvin Perry speaks during the sentencing hearing for Casey Anthony on charges of lying to a law enforcement officer at the Orange County Courthouse July 7, 2011 in Orlando, Florida. Anthony was acquitted of murder charges on July 5, 2011 but will serve four, one-year sentences on her conviction of lying to a law enforcement officer. She will be credited for the nearly three-years of time served and good behavior and will be released July 13. (Getty)

Belvin Perry, a former chief judge in Florida’s Ninth Judicial Circuit, first gained national attention in 2011, after it was announced that he would be presiding over Casey Anthony’s infamous murder trial.

Perry was born on October 11, 1949, in Orlando, Florida, to Jessie M. Perry, a public school teacher, and Belvin Perry, Sr., a law enforcement officer. Perry Jr. has led a long legal career– starting out with the Office of the State Attorney and serving as a Trial Attorney, and steadily climbing the ranks of the State Attorney’s Office. These days, he works for Morgan & Morgan as a personal-injury attorney.

Tonight, Perry will be interviewed as part of ID’s new 3-part docuseries, Casey Anthony: An American Murder Mystery.

Read on to learn more about 67-year-old Belvin Perry, Jr.

1. He Believes Casey May Have Accidentally Killed Caylee While Trying to Sedate Her With Chloroform

Judge Perry Gets Mad At BaezJudge Belvin Perry gets perturbed at Casey Anthony's lead defense attorney, Jose Baez, when he does not have the file for a witness.2011-05-31T20:35:10.000Z

In a recent interview with WFTV published on February 28, Perry opened up about Casey Anthony’s trial and what he believes happened to 2-year-old Caylee.

The most logical thing that occurred, in my eyesight, based on everything I know about the case, was that (Anthony) did not intentionally kill her daughter… I think based upon the evidence, the most logical thing that happened was that she tried to knock her daughter out by the use of chloroform and gave her too much chloroform, which caused her daughter to die.

To this day, Perry holds that Caylee’s death was likely not a purposeful act. “To me, that was the most logical thing, looking at the totality of the entire situation. There was never any evidence of abuse of the daughter that was documented, that was presented anywhere.” Perry stressed, however, that this is just one theory. “…the only person that really knows what happened was Casey,” he said.

2. His Father Was One of Orlando’s First Two African-American Police Officers

Casey Anthony judge felt 'shock, disbelief' at verdictNearly two years after Casey Anthony was acquitted of the murder of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee, Judge Belvin Perry Jr., who presided over the case, is speaking out for the first time. NBC's Kerry Sanders reports, and Perry describes his shock upon reading the verdict the jury turned in.2013-05-06T13:01:02.000Z

Belvin Perry Sr. was one of Orlando’s first two black officers, and served for 25 years. He passed away in 1995, after complications from a stroke two years prior. Perry Sr. was 74.

In a profile by the Orlando Sentinel, Belvin Perry Jr. said, “He was just the type of person that any individual he came in contact with he tried to help. He lived his life by example.”

According to the piece, Perry Sr. officially became an Orlando police officer on January 3, 1951, along with a man named Richard Jones. Jones told the Orlando Sentinel, “[Perry] was all officer. He was an officer I would trust my life with and not waste a second thought about it.”

3. He Joined a Private Law Firm in 2014

Belvin Pery Jr. earned his Bachelor of Science degree in History from Tuskegee University. In 1974, he earned his Masters of Education from the same school, and went on to received a Juris Doctor degree from TSU’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law.

As well as serving as a Circuit Court Judge for Casey Anthony’s murder trial, Judge Perry was the lead attorney in the the trial of Judy Buenoano— a woman who was eventually convicted of killing her son and husband.

In 2014, he retired and joined a private law firm, Morgan & Morgan, as a personal-injury attorney.

4. He Has Received a Number of Awards for His Work

Judge Belvin Perry discusses reasons for retiringChief Judge Belvin Perry Jr., who gained fame during the Casey Anthony trial, will retire Aug. 31, he announced Monday. Subscribe to WESH on YouTube now for more: Get more Orlando news: Like Follow us: Google+:

Judge Perry has received a number of awards recognizing his contribution to society. In 2004, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014, he was recognized as one of the most 50 powerful people in Orlando.

In 2009, Perry earned the FLABOTA Jurist of the Year Award, which was given to him by the Florida Chapters of the American Board of Trial Advocates. That same year, he also received the Trial Judge of the Year Award. Other honors include the 2014 Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award; Central Florida Urban League Bob Billingsley Legacy Award; 2012 James G. Glazebrook Memorial Bar Service Award by the Orange County Bar; 2012 Judge William M. Hoeveler Judicial Award for Professionalism by the Florida Bar; 2005 Golden Bell Award presented by the Mental Health Association of Central Florida; Drum Major Award presented by the Dr. I.S. Hankins/F.A. Johnson Education Foundation, Inc., Founders Award presented by Florida Partners in Crisis; Friend of Law Related Education Award presented by the Florida Law Related Education Association, Inc. and a 2003 Appreciation Award from presented by the Paul C. Perkins Bar Association for meritorious service and dedication to the legal community, according to his Morgan & Morgan profile.

5. Shirts Saying “Judge Perry Is My Homeboy” Were Sold During Casey Anthony’s Murder Trial

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Casey Anthony tells Judge Belvin Perry she won’t testify in her own defense as her defense attorney Jose Baez said the defense has rested its case at the Orange County Courthouse on June 30, 2011 in Orlando, Florida. Anthony, 25, answered Perry’s questions briefly about her decision after the proceedings resumed after lunch. Anthony’s defense attorneys argued that she didn’t kill her two-year-old daughter Caylee, but that she accidentally drowned. (Getty)

During Anthony’s murder trial, T-shirts with writing that said “Judge Perry is my homeboy” were sold near the Orange County courthouse in Orlando.

Orlando Criminal defense attorney Bill Umansky describes Perry as a “judge’s judge”, saying, “what you see is what you get with him… He’s not acting any differently in this trial than in any other trial. He is very hard-working, very educated, very smart.”

In a 2014 interview with a local Orlando news outlet, Perry revealed, “If I could write what I wanted people to remember me by, it would not be the Casey Anthony case… It was just by pure fate I got that case.” Perry went on to say that after the original trial judge, Stan Strickland, rescued himself, Administrative Judge Reginald Whitehead proposed he take on the case. “He said, ‘You.’ And I said, ‘Me? OK. I don’t really want it, but I’ll do it.”

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