by Krystal Paco

Guam - After less than a day in deliberations, Anthony Morcilla was found not guilty for the death of his daughter Amanda.     

There wasn't a dry eye in sight in Judge James Canto's courtroom today. A court clerk read, "To the charge of negligent homicide charge one, we the jury find the defendant not guilty. To the charge of leaving a child in a motor vehicle charge two, we the jury find the defendant not guilty. To charge three, child abuse, we the jury find the defendant not guilty."    

Morcilla was charged for the death of his two-year-old daughter. It was in April 2013 the senior probation officer was running late when he allegedly forgot to take the toddler to daycare that morning and left her in his truck parked at the employee parking of the Superior Court of Guam while he was at work. When he discovered her seven hours later, Amanda had already died from suffocation and burns to almost half of her body.

Morcilla was then charged with negligent homicide, leaving a child in a motor vehicle, and child abuse. If convicted on all three charges, Morcilla could've faced up to nine years behind bars.

Chief prosecutor Basil O'Mallan reacts to today's not guilty verdict, saying, "I was a little disappointed by the verdict of course I thought that we presented all the evidence that was available at the time. I've always believed from the beginning what I argued there was some intent to leave her behind. Bottom-line this is a very tragic case there's no real winners in this. Amanda is still dead, but I had to present the case and let the jury decide and they have."

But today's verdict wasn't a surprise to defense attorney Curtis Van De Veld, who picked up the case pro bono. "Mr. Morcilla is emotionally affected no matter how the verdict came out this is a situation which is difficult for him and his child's mother," he explained. "Hopefully now they can continue their grieving which will go on for a lifetime but this will be behind them.

"He was an attentive, caring, and loving father. You can't be that person and not suffer. He continues to suffer and I don't know that that will ever stop."

as a result of the Morcilla trial, Van De Veld says the community has been changed for the better with many more daycares now calling parents whose children don't show up.