Casey Anthony, the woman acquitted of murdering her daughter Caylee, lost an appeal today and was ordered to come out of hiding and report to a probation officer by this Friday.
Anthony, 25, could report to a probation officer any time before Friday. She's been in hiding since her release from Orange County Jail on July 17.
Her defense attorney, Jose Baez, said earlier this week that she had returned to Florida to await the fate of her probation appeal. A three judge panel on Florida Court of Appeals settled the issue today by rejecting her appeal.
Anthony was ordered earlier this month by Judge Belvin Perry to return to Florida by Aug. 26 to serve a year's probation stemming from a check fraud conviction. Before her first degree murder trial, Anthony pleaded guilty to stealing checks from best friend Amy Huizenga during the time that Caylee was missing.
An error was made on the written sentencing documents in that case, which allowed Anthony to serve her probation while in jail awaiting trial for murder. Judge Stan Strickland, who presided over the check fraud case, had intended for her to serve probation once she left jail.
Casey Anthony Must Report for Probation By Friday
Shortly after Judge Perry issued his order for her to report to a probation officer, Anthony's defense team filed an appeal. They claim that forcing Anthony to serve probation again is an "illegal sentence" and puts her in harm's way especially if she must serve the probation in Florida since she has received death threats after her acquittal.
In the written order filed by the Fifth District Court of Appeals today, the judges reprimanded Anthony and her defense team for turning the sentencing process into a "game."
"The petitioner and her lawyers were well aware that her probationary placement was not to begin until her release from confinement. The petitioner may not, under these circumstances, take advantage of the administrative error of the Department of Corrections," the order states.
Defense attorney Baez and the rest of Anthony's team have previously admitted to knowing that the judge's original intentions were for Anthony to serve probation outside of jail, but argued that the Department of Corrections allowed Anthony to serve the probation and that the jurisdictional timeframe had passed to address this issue.
Casey Anthony's Safety May Be a Probation Issue
The attorney general fired back, arguing that Anthony never really served probation since it was served while in jail.
"Legally, it is clear that a defendant cannot serve probation while incarcerated," Attorney General Pamela Bondi and Assistant Attorney General Wesley Heidt wrote in a response filed in the Fifth District Court of Appeals on Aug. 22.
"The court was simply attempting to ensure the previously imposed, and never served, probation was begun...upon her release, she should have reported," the response stated.
Baez is being investigated by the Florida Bar for his handling of Anthony's sentencing, ABC Affiliate WFTV reported.
It's unclear if Anthony will be able to serve the probation out of state or what measures will be taken to protect her. Throughout her trial and following her acquittal, she's received death threats.
When issuing his order to report to a parole officer earlier this month, Perry alluded to her safety.
"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 in his Aug. 12 order for Anthony to return to Florida.