- (Photo: Reuters/Red Huber/Pool)
A Florida judge has closed the Casey Anthony hearing Friday without giving a ruling on whether she should serve probation for check fraud.
The case to date was rebuked by Judge Belvin Perry who described it as a “mess.”
Judge Perry delayed his ruling saying he needed more time to conduct his research into whether Anthony should be forced to return to Florida to report to a probation office.
“The best I can say is this is a legal maze,” Judge Perry said. “This is a legal morass.”
The judge refused to give any indication at the hearing, which Anthony did not attend, about when he would issue a ruling in the future.
Anthony’s defense team maintains that she completed her one-year probation for the 2010 check fraud conviction while she sat in jail for nearly three years awaiting trial for murder. Attorneys Cheney Mason and Jose Baez say the entire case should be "thrown out" because it constitutes double jeopardy.
The defense, in its motion, argued that the court "lost jurisdiction" in the probation matter because Strickland's amended order early this week came "well past 60 days of the original" back in January 2010.
The legal team also fears that Anthony would be exposed to security risks if asked to return to Florida amid the high tensions her acquittal has stirred.
Anthony has disappeared from the public eye following being found not guilty last month in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee.
She was sentenced in January 2010 to probation after pleading guilty to using checks stolen from a friend.
Officials initially interpreted the sentence to mean Anthony could serve the probation while she was in jail awaiting trial. However, the judge in that case said last week he intended the probation to be served following her release.
Reports have indicated that Judge Perry listened to arguments for more than an hour on the probation issue before saying: “If anything could go wrong, it went wrong here.”