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Casey Anthony ordered back to Florida to avoid 'mockery of justice'

Judge says Casey Anthony, who was acquitted of murder charges, must return to Florida to serve probation for check fraud and should not be allowed 'to take advantage of a scrivener's error.'

By Staff writer / August 12, 2011

Attorney Jose Baez escorts Casey Anthony, as she leaves the Orange County Corrections Facility on Sunday last month in Orlando, Florida.

Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel/MCT

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Casey Anthony must return to Orlando within two weeks to begin serving a year of probation for a check-fraud conviction, even though the Probation Department had said she already completed the requirement, a Florida judge ruled on Friday.

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Chief Judge Belvin Perry said Ms. Anthony’s earlier period of supervision by the Probation Department was not real probation since it was conducted while she was still in jail.

“To permit the defendant … to avoid serving probation now, would take a lawfully imposed sentence and make it a mockery of justice,” Perry wrote in his 13-page ruling.

“This would allow a defendant to take advantage of a scrivener’s error and be rewarded,” he said. “This is not the message the courts want to send to the public or defendants.”

The decision disrupts apparent attempts by Anthony to maintain a low profile since her acquittal last month on charges that she murdered her two-year-old daughter, Caylee.

The acquittal sparked outrage among many who have been following the case since Caylee’s disappearance three years ago and the discovery of the toddler’s skeletal remains in December 2008. Anthony has been the target of numerous threats, including death threats, and has been living in an undisclosed location.

Judge Perry gave Anthony until noon, Friday, August 26 to personally present herself to the Probation Department in downtown Orlando. Her one year of supervision begins the day she reports.

The judge also directed the Probation Department to keep her residential and other personal information confidential in recognition of the threats made against her.

Perry noted that a recent poll concluded that Anthony was the most hated person in the United States. “This court is very mindful that it is a high probability that there are many that would like to see physical harm visited upon the defendant,” Perry wrote.

Anthony faces standard terms of probation. She must maintain a job and report to her probation officer at least once a month. In addition, she is barred from excessive use of alcohol. Her home may be searched upon request. Any illegal activity would violate her probation and could land her back in jail.

The probation issue arose as an apparent afterthought two weeks ago when the judge who presided over an earlier check-fraud case discovered that Anthony was not serving a one-year term of probation.

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