If all Casey Anthony wanted to do was disappear, the paparazzi won’t let that happen. But the courts, for now at least, don’t want her back.
After being found not guilty of first degree murder in the death of her daughter, Caylee, Anthony served an additional few days in jail for lying to authorities. On July 17, she walked out of prison a free woman and disappeared from the national spotlight. But for a second, it seemed like the Ninth Circuit court in Orlando said she had to come back home.
Eighteen months before the national spectacle of her trial, Anthony pleaded guilty to passing bad checks. Among other things, she negligently purchased the blue hoodie she was wearing when she was arrested for murder. Ninth Circuit Judge Stan Strickland sentenced her to pay the $5,500 in court costs and serve a year’s probation. While many thought that her probation would run concurrently while she was in prison awaiting trial, Judge Strickland disagreed.
On Monday, Judge Strickland ruled that Anthony’s sentence was not fulfilled while she was in prison and gave her 72 hours to appear before the court. Under Florida law, Anthony would have to register with the department of corrections and provide an address, which would become part of the public record and are usually posted online. Legal analysts and Anthony’s own lawyers have argued that she is at risk for vigilantes who disagreed with the verdict. Cheney Mason, one of Anthony’s lawyers during the murder trial, filed an emergency motion to throw out Judge Strickland’s ruling, arguing that it would put Anthony at risk.
Rather than rule on the emergency motion, Judge Strickland recused himself and reassigned the matter to Belvin Perry, Jr., the chief judge of Florida’s Ninth Circuit Court. Perry ruled that Anthony does not have to return to Florida on Thursday, as Strickland’s ruling declared, and Perry set a hearing for 9 a.m. Friday. Anthony will not be present at the hearing. The reassignment brings back a familiar face to court watchers. After presiding over Anthony’s initial check fraud case, Strickland recused himself and Perry presided over her murder trial, making the latest development a near exact sequel to one of the previous facets of the Casey Anthony case.
Anthony has made no public appearances since leaving prison, but TMZ has released photos it claims are of Casey Anthony “incognito,” apparently in Ohio. The photos show a woman with similar features to Anthony’s walking around in blue jeans, flip flops, various T shirts and an Ohio State ball cap. For all of the speculation that she might attempt elaborate disguises, posing as a Buckeye’s fan in the middle of Ohio might be the definition of hiding in plain sight, which may work now that she’s not compelled to return to Florida.
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