Anthony won't have to return to Florida on Thurs.

August 3, 2011 - 4:28 PM
Casey Anthony

FILE - In this July 7, 2011 photo, Casey Anthony smiles before the start of her sentencing hearing in Orlando, Fla. Anthony’s lawyer Jose Baez says bringing Anthony back to Florida from an undisclosed location would just add to what he called the “circus-like atmosphere” around her case. Anthony has disappeared from public view since her acquittal last month on charges of murdering her 2-year-old daughter. A judge this week ordered Anthony to come back to Orlando to serve probation for check fraud that she plead guilty to in an earlier case. (AP Photo/Joe Burbank, Pool)

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Casey Anthony won't have to return to Orlando on Thursday to start serving probation for check fraud charges. An assistant in Judge Belvin Perry's office said Wednesday a hearing on the issue has been set for Friday. The assistant spoke on the condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to talk about the case.

Anthony has been out of public view since she was acquitted by a jury in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee. She was convicted of lying to detectives but released from jail because of time served.

Anthony could still be ordered to serve probation but that will be determined at the hearing.

Judge Stan Strickland sentenced Anthony in January 2010 to probation after she pleaded guilty to using checks stolen from a friend. The state Department of Corrections had interpreted the sentence to mean that Anthony could serve the probation while she was in jail for her murder trial, but the judge said last week that he intended the probation to be served after her release.

On Monday, Strickland signed a "corrected" version of Anthony's probation order to make clear she was supposed to start the one-year term after her release from jail. Strickland recused himself from the probation case without giving a reason, although defense attorneys accused him of showing prejudice against Anthony in television interviews he gave after her murder trial.

In a motion filed Tuesday, Baez and his team said Anthony already served her probation while in jail and to have her do so again would be double jeopardy. They said Florida law stipulates the judge cannot amend his sentence more than 60 days after it was signed, which was in January 2010.

But Karin Moore, a law professor at Florida A&M College of Law, said an inmate can't serve probation while in jail, so Strickland has the ability to correct the sentence.

"He can correct an illegal sentence anytime, which he thinks he is doing now," Moore said.

Anthony's lawyers also argued in Tuesday's motion that that Stricklands no longer qualified to issue the amended order since he recused himself from Anthony's criminal case and that the amended order was fraudulently filed since there was no court proceeding attended by Anthony or her attorneys.

"This thing is over and done. And for some reason things seem to keep coming up again for no apparent reason, for absolutely no apparent reason, other than let's just keep this thing going, let's just keep this madness going and engage in the circus-like atmosphere that is called the Casey Anthony case," Baez said.

Defense attorney Jose Baez told NBC's "Today" show Wednesday he hoped that Anthony will not have to return to Orlando.

Baez said there were threats against Anthony because of her acquittal and Orange County would have to provide security if she was forced to return. To back up that claim, Anthony's attorneys included a flyer in their motion that showed a doctored photo of Anthony with a bullet mark on her forehead. Text underneath the photo reads in part, "With a forehead that big, the headshot will be easier."

Baez did not say where she was located, only that she was not in Florida when the judge's order was signed Monday.