- (Photo: Reuters/Red Huber/Pool)
Minutes after Florida Judge Belvin Perry laid the hammer down on Casey Anthony’s defense attorneys on Friday, another media blitz hit the air debating whether or not the normal terms of a probation are actually possible in such a high-profile case.
Judge Perry firmly denied Anthony's legal team's motion to “quash, vacate and set aside” the court’s order that would force Casey Anthony to serve one year’s probation following her sentencing on an old check fraud conviction, which she pleaded guilty for stealing checks from a friend.
The judge scolded defense attorney Jose Baez on Friday for trying pull the wool over the court’s eyes by not reporting the clerical error in the court reporter’s notes that ended up being wrong, according to Judge Stan Strickland’s order.
He said, “Failing to carry through on a lawfully imposed sentence would be a mockery of justice."
In 2010, Strickland ordered Anthony to serve probation after she was released from the Orange County Jail – not while she was in jail pending trial, new court records show.
Friday’s court order specifically targeted Baez for not reporting the error, stating his lack of professionalism in handling Anthony’s case was to blame.
“The defense acknowledged in court that Mr. Baez knew about the error, but contended he did not have any obligation to inform the court,” as stated in the court document issued by Judge Perry.
“No attorney should conduct himself or herself in a way that impedes an order of the court …. our system of justice should never be in the position of rewarding someone who willfully hides the ball.”
As it stands now, Anthony has until midnight on August 26, 2011, to report in person at the Florida Department of Corrections to begin her one-year term of supervised probation, according to the court document.
However, Baez confirmed to News 13 in Orlando on Friday that he will appeal the ruling. Baez will have to request a stay, however, to keep Anthony from having to serve out her probation while the appeal is considered by the 5th District Appeals Court in Daytona Beach, according to Florida law.
"If there's a question about if the probation is a legal sentence," Elizabeth Megale, a Barry University law professor, told News 13, "then they're going to want to solve that before she actually serves the probation."
What happened in court last week?
During a hearing held last week, Judge Perry announced he would need additional time to research case law to verify whether or not he had jurisdiction over the case.
“All I can say is I do not know,” Perry said in court. “This is a mess.”
Anthony's lawyers originally argued that she should not have to serve it because the Department of Corrections actually began administering her probation while she was still behind bars. She actually received a probation termination letter in January 2011.
The attorneys also cited concern about Anthony’s safety if she were required to return to Orlando due to ongoing threats.
What happens now?
Judge Perry addressed Anthony’s safety in his order stating, “Based on the results of a poll by E-Poll Market Research, it appears the public rage concerning this defendant has not yet subsided."
He cited the poll which revealed that Anthony was “America’s most-hated person.”
The judge ordered that the Florida Department of Corrections is authorized to keep Anthony’s residential information confidential due to the threats on her life, the document reads.
Anthony's attorneys have been ordered to contact the Department of Corrections administrator 72 hours before she reports to the office to arrange the meeting, court documents read.
Casey Anthony is also ordered to report to her probation officer no later than the fifth of each month, she has to remain in the state of Florida, can not have any contact with the check fraud victim, and she has to get a job.
HLN newscast as anchor Mike Galanos commented on Judge Perry’s order Friday, posing several questions to legal analysts.
“What about Perry’s order that Anthony must give a full and truthful report to her probation officer each month?” Galanos said in a news report referring to Anthony's track record of lying to authorities while they were trying to find her daughter, Caylee.
“Good luck with that and what about Perry’s order that Anthony must get a job? Who will hire her?” Galanos asked.
In the meantime, Mark Lippman, the attorney for her parents George and Cindy Anthony, released a statement following Judge Perry’s probation order.
Lippman said in his statement that George and Cindy Anthony have not spoken with their daughter, do not know where she is and have no plans for her to return to the home she shared with her parents and daughter.
He said he doubts that Casey Anthony would live in Florida and serve her probation in Orange County, but rather her case would be transferred out of state, according to the statement.
Lippman issued three points: Casey Anthony will not be returning to her home because of the probation order, no arrangements have been coordinated with the defense attorneys currently representing Casey Anthony to have her return home due to the probation, and the Office of Probation has not contacted me or George and Cindy Anthony regarding any type of verification of the home address for the probation.
“Regardless of what happens,” Lippman said, “George and Cindy Anthony do not have any idea where Casey Anthony currently is or where she will be living while she is on probation.”
Casey Anthony has been laying low since her acquittal on first degree murder for daughter Caylee Anthony's death last month.
Caylee Anthony would have been six years old on Tuesday.
CBS News reports non-profit organization, Bring Kids Home, wants to turn the site where Caylee's body was discovered into a memorial.
The Caylee Anthony Project centers on a reflecting pond with a glass ring that would hang over it like a halo, according to media reports.
The memorial would also include spaces for visitors to leave items for children's charities. Glass disks would show the names of missing children. The memorial is estimated to cost $200,000.