ORLANDO, Fla. — A judge deciding whether Casey Anthony has to return to Florida to serve probation for check fraud ended a hearing Friday without a ruling, calling the case “a mess.”
“The best I can say is this is a legal maze,” Judge Belvin Perry said. “This is a legal morass.”
The judge didn’t indicate when he would issue a ruling. Anthony didn’t attend the hearing, which involves a case separate from her high-profile murder trial that ended with her acquittal last month.
Anthony has disappeared from the public eye since a jury found her not guilty in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, and she was released from the Orange County Jail. Her lawyers have not disclosed her location expect to say she was out of state earlier this week.
Another judge sentenced her in January 2010 to probation after she pleaded guilty to using checks stolen from a friend. Judge Stan Strickland said during the sentencing hearing that Anthony should serve the probation upon her release from prison or jail. But those instructions never made it into a written order and corrections officials interpreted the sentence to mean Anthony could serve the probation while she was in jail awaiting trial. Strickland issued an amended order earlier this week, clarifying that Anthony needs to start serving probation now that she is out of jail.
Her attorneys argued at the hearing that Anthony already has served the probation and to do so again would be double jeopardy. They also argued that Strickland didn’t have jurisdiction over the case anymore and that his original sentencing order could not be corrected more than 60 days after it was issued.