ORLANDO (CBS4) – She’s back – Casey Anthony has returned to Florida.
Her attorney Jose Baez told Fox News on Sunday that Anthony is back in Florida and will report to a probation office in Orlando to start probation if an appeal fails.
“We are going to follow the law wherever the courts follow the law and I am certain she will do what’s asked of her if necessary and hopefully it won’t come to that,” Baez said.
Circuit Judge Stan Strickland sentenced Anthony to a year of probation in January 2010 after she pleaded guilty to stealing checks from a friend. At the time, Strickland said Anthony should serve the probation upon her release, but those instructions never made it into a written order.
Corrections officials interpreted the sentence to mean Anthony could serve the probation while she was in jail awaiting her murder trial, where she was acquitted in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee.
Strickland clarified in an order earlier this month that Anthony must begin her probation now that she is out of jail. He then recused himself from the case and turned it over to Judge Belvin Perry, who had presided over Anthony’s murder trial. Perry upheld Strickland’s order and Anthony’s attorneys last week filed an appeal with the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Daytona Beach.
In the appeal, Anthony’s attorneys accused Strickland of bias, citing an appearance on Nancy Grace’s television show in which he said he was “shocked” by the murder trial verdict. Grace has been a vocal critic of Anthony.
The attorneys also argued Strickland couldn’t amend the order since the probation sentence had already been completed. The order also violates double jeopardy since Anthony would be serving the same sentence twice, they said.
If the order is upheld, Anthony has until noon Friday to report to the probation office.
Since her release from jail following her acquittal, Anthony has kept a low profile and her exact whereabouts have been a secret.
During the Fox News interview, Baez said Anthony had spoken with her parents, George and Cindy, but had not talked with her brother, Lee. Anthony is undergoing therapy and counseling and is “trying to get a grasp of what happened to her,” Baez said.
Anthony’s legal team is concerned about her safety, given that she has received threats, and she is in a safe location, said Baez, although he wouldn’t say where in Florida she was.
“This is someone who has a lot of figuring out of what is left of her life,” Baez said.
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