• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Casey Anthony won't have to report to Fla.

August 3, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A judge ruled Wednesday that Casey Anthony does not have to immediately return to Florida to start serving her probation for check fraud.

A hearing on her probation was set for Friday, Judge Belvin Perry said. Anthony won't have to show up for that either.

Anthony had been ordered by Circuit Judge Stan Strickland to report to Florida on Thursday for her probation. However, Strickland recused himself Wednesday and turned the case over to Perry, who presided over Anthony's murder trial. Strickland did not say why he was removing himself.

It's another victory for Anthony's defense team who was fighting to have Strickland removed from the case, calling him biased and pointing to his reaction to the verdict on the cable television show "Nancy Grace."

Anthony has been out of the public eye since she was acquitted last month in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee. She was convicted of lying to detectives but released July 17 because of time served.

The jury's decision outraged many people around the country and her attorneys said threats have been made on Anthony's life. They filed a motion in court this week to keep Anthony out of court, arguing that bringing her back into the public eye would be dangerous.

Anthony's attorneys said Orlando authorities would have to provide security if she was forced to return. They would not disclose where their client was located, only that she was not in Florida.

Judge 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 awaiting trial, but Strickland said last week 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.

However, in a motion filed Tuesday, Anthony's defense attorneys said she had already served her probation. They also said Florida law stipulates the judge cannot amend his sentence more than 60 days after it was signed.

Now it'll be up to Judge Belvin to decide.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Load Comments