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Casey Anthony's Attorneys Fight Judge's Ruling

Defense team calls judge "media hound"

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By R. Leigh Coleman, Christian Post Reporter
August 3, 2011|4:54 pm

Casey Anthony is back in the news again. This time facing an old problem that stems from a slew of check fraud convictions and an unclear probation order.

Anthony’s defense team said they want the entire matter “thrown out.”

The scene is taking place back in the Orange County Courthouse this week as Anthony’s defense team filed a motion late Tuesday for an emergency hearing to “quash and vacate” Judge Stan Strickland’s order that Anthony must begin probation for check fraud.

Court records show that the motion notes that if Anthony has to serve probation it would be classified as double jeopardy.

They said Florida law stipulates the “judge cannot amend his sentence more than 60 days after it was signed.”

Anthony’s defense attorneys are also accusing Strickland of filing the probation order fraudulently. The team outright accused Strickland of prejudice against Anthony.

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According to Orange County court records, Anthony’s attorneys are arguing in a motion that she has served all of her probation time while in jail and it would be “dangerous for her to return to Orlando.”

Strickland ordered that Anthony return to Orlando within 72 hours on Monday to start serving a one year probation order from the old check fraud conviction in January 2010.

"She's done her probation. If you all will go read the motion we just filed, you will see how blatantly clear it is, and how blatantly wrong Mr. Strickland was," Cheney Mason, one of Anthony’s defense attorneys, told reporters.

Anthony was accused of stealing hundreds of dollars from a friend, Amy Huizenga, in July 2008, according to court records.

Investigators said Anthony used Huizenga's checks to buy more than $400 worth of clothes and groceries at area Target and Winn-Dixie stores.

Strickland has recused himself from Anthony's check fraud and probation case and Judge Belvin Perry, the judge who presided over her murder trial, will now take over, according to the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court records.

According to early reports from an Orlando radio station, defense sources have confirmed that Perry will grant a stay for Anthony, which puts Strickland’s order on hold until further action by the court.

"We are still in contact with her attorneys, and they have been very cooperative," Gretl Plessinger, director for the Florida Department of Corrections, told reporters in a press conference on Wednesday.

“We do not know when Anthony will report, but the Department of Corrections is ready for her. We told her attorney that she needs to be here by no later than 10 a.m. Thursday morning and if she does not check in by 10 o'clock tomorrow, we will notify the court."

Plessinger also said just because Strickland has recused himself from the case it does not mean that Anthony does not need to report for her probation.

"Right now we have not received any threats. If we get to the point where we do, we will begin working with local law enforcement and take any precautions that we need, depending on the threat," Plessinger told reporters at the press conference today.

She did say that the Department of Corrections is not funded to provide added security for offenders.

Perry's order for the stay does not mean he disagrees with Strickland’s order, only that there is good legal cause to suspend its enforcement for now.

Perry could grant the request for an emergency hearing, order written pleadings from attorneys, or rule on the pleadings already filed, among other possible outcomes. He could also lift the stay, according to recent media reports.

Anthony’s defense team has gone on record several times saying they fear for their client’s safety.

Her whereabouts have been unknown since she was released from the Orange County Jail on July 17 after being acquitted of killing her two- year-old daughter.

The defense’s exhibit in the motion to vacate the probation also included death threats made against Anthony.

"This thing is over and done. And for some reason things seem to keep coming up again for no apparent reason, for absolutely no apparent reason, other than let’s just keep this thing going, let’s just keep this madness going and engage in the circus-like atmosphere that is called the Casey Anthony case," Baez told the Today Show this morning.

Baez did not say where his client was currently located, only that she was not in Florida when the judge’s order was signed on Monday.

Prior to Casey Anthony’s high-profile murder case, she was found guilty in several of the 13 check fraud charges filed against her dating back to 2008.

The judge, who is being called a “media hound” by Anthony’s lawyers, found her guilty in six of the charges and withheld adjudication in seven.

She was given credit for 412 days of time served in jail and one year of probation.

Casey Anthony was also ordered to pay $348 in court fees and $5,517.75 in investigative fees.

"I just wanted to let everyone know that I'm sorry for what I did," Casey Anthony told the judge in court last year.

"I take complete and full responsibility for my actions, and I'd like to apologize to Amy. I wish I'd been a better friend.”

Under the probation terms, Anthony would have to report monthly to a probation officer, avoid drugs, get a job, be prohibited from owning a firearm without her probation officer’s permission and could not associate with criminals, Orlando court records show.

Under Florida law, if someone commits a deliberate act of check fraud they face a stiff sentence of $1,000 in fines and five years in prison if convicted.

To view all Casey Anthony court records visit: http://www.myorangeclerk.com/enu/Pages/orange-county-clerk-of-court-home.aspx

 

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