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Casey Anthony's Probation Hearing: Heated Debate Friday

Former Friend Comments on Check Fraud Case

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By R. Leigh Coleman, Christian Post Reporter
August 4, 2011|5:59 pm

The big question looming over Orlando about whether or not Casey Anthony will have to return to serve probation for an old check fraud conviction will be argued in the Orange County courthouse on Friday.

Chief Judge Belvin Perry will hear Anthony’s defense team debate their emergency motion to "quash, vacate and set aside" Judge Stan Strickland's amended order regarding her probation status.

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, according to court records.

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.

Court records also show that the legal team fears that Anthony would be placed in harms way if asked to return to Orlando due to the public’s attitude.

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Anthony’s defense team also alleges that Strickland is a “media hound” and “out to get Casey Anthony.”

Perry, who some say is a "prosecutor's judge," will have to decide on Friday whether 25-year-old Casey Anthony should serve one year of probation for the old conviction.

The check fraud charges are related to Anthony's alleged spending spree while her two-year-old daughter was still missing in 2008.

In January 2010, Anthony was convicted of felony check fraud charges after she admitted stealing a checkbook from a friend and writing five checks totaling $644.25. Images of the spending spree were captured on surveillance cameras at area Target stores and other places around Orlando.

Anthony's former friend, Amy Huizenga, claims her checking account was drained without her permission.

An attorney for Amy Huizenga told reporters on Thursday that she's moved on.

"Amy has no position," her attorney told WESH 2 News in Florida today.

"The case is behind her."

Orlando attorney Richard Hornsby, who provided legal commentary for WESH 2 News during the trial, said he thought Huizenga would see the issue differently.

"You would think Miss Huizenga, since she was dragged in to this mess, would want some punishment as well," he told the news station on Thursday.

According to Florida law, Judge Perry could also grant the defense team's request and agree with its argument that Anthony served her probation while in the Orange County Jail awaiting trial in the death of her daughter Caylee.

Legal experts say if Anthony is required to report to probation, the defense team would likely appeal that decision.

“They would file an appeal and ask the court in Daytona to stay her reporting to probation until the appeal is resolved," legal analyst Bill Sheaffer told the Orlando Sentinel today.

If Anthony is again ordered to return to Orlando to serve one year of supervised probation, the court orders will be explained to her to “make sure that she understands them and knows what her responsibility is as an offender,” according DOC spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger.

"If the court issues a clarification order, we'll supervise her."

Plessinger did tell reporters this week that it is not unusual for some inmates to serve probation while in jail awaiting final disposition on separate charges.

"Not only is it common, we've never heard of a case where probation stops because someone is in jail awaiting trial. Remember there's no conviction at that point," Plessinger said.

Anthony, if required to serve probation, will have to give the courts her address, which is public record in Florida.

She will also have to show proof that she is looking for a job.

"Judge Strickland expressed his intention at the time of sentencing that probation would be served on defendant's release," Perry wrote in his order.

The hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday.

 

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