Appeals court asked to vacate Casey Anthony probation order

Posted Aug. 17, 2011, at 5:55 p.m.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Casey Anthony’s defense team filed an emergency petition Wednesday with an appeals court, asking the judges to vacate Orange-Osceola Chief Judge Belvin Perry’s recent order that will require her to report to probation by next week.

Perry ruled last week that Anthony has until Aug. 26 to turn herself in to the Florida Department of Corrections, which will monitor her for one year while she serves probation.

Defense attorneys Lisabeth Fryer and Cheney Mason in their emergency filing called that an “illegal sentence.”

At issue is the probation Anthony served as part of a check-fraud case while she was in the Orange County Jail awaiting her first-degree murder trial.

In January 2010, Anthony pleaded guilty to 13 charges in the check-fraud case, and Judge Stan Strickland found her guilty on six of the charges: one count of grand theft, four counts of check forgery, and fraudulent use of personal identification. Strickland sentenced her to time served in jail followed by one year of probation.

There was confusion last month, when Anthony was acquitted on the murder charge and released from jail, about whether she would have to serve the probation.

The Department of Corrections allowed Anthony to serve the probation while in jail, but that was not Strickland intended.

Soon after Anthony was released from Jail, Strickland amended his original order clarifying his intentions, which were clear in video and transcripts from the January 2010 sentencing.

Anthony’s defense team objected, and Perry heard arguments from the attorneys last week. The defense team argued Anthony shouldn’t have to serve probation twice.

In his order, Perry said it is clear Anthony’s probation was supposed to start when she left jail, and he said Strickland has the authority to correct what amounted to a clerical error.

In their emergency petition, the defense team said Perry’s order “ignores the fact that the Defendant did, in fact, actually serve her term of probation and was subject to the threat of violation of probation if she, for instances, wrote a letter of apology to the victim had a physical altercation with a correctional officer or another inmate, or was in the possession of contraband.”

The defense said Anthony was subject to Department of Corrections supervision “and the anxiety associated with a probationary period.”

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