Her attorneys, citing safety issues, are fighting to keep her in hiding

By Steve Helling
August 03, 2011 11:55 AM
Credit: Joe Burbank/AP

Casey Anthony may not return to her Central Florida home this week, despite a judge’s order that she report to probation in Orlando.

On Monday, judge Stan Strickland signed court documents that would require Anthony to serve one year of supervised probation in her check-fraud case. Anthony pled guilty to stealing checks from a former friend in January 2010. The order gave Anthony 72 hours to report to probation, meaning she would have to report by Thursday morning. Judge Strickland has since recused himself from the case and was replaced by Judge Belvin Perry, who presided over Anthony’s murder trial.

But Tuesday, Anthony’s attorney Cheney Mason entered the Orange County courthouse on behalf of his client. “Right now we’re filing one motion to vacate that stupid order,” he told reporters, indicating that Anthony “would not return” to Florida.

Lead attorney Jose Baez believes that Anthony would be in danger if she came back to Florida. “We have an issue of safety,” Jose Baez told the Today Show on Wednesday. “The last thing we want to do is put Casey in harm’s way. They had to shut down streets for us to leave Orlando. I certainly don’t think that’s something they want to embrace for her to return.”

Photos of Anthony, 25, in Ohio were posted on TMZ.com Wednesday, describing her as “hiding in plain sight” while shopping at an Old Navy.

If Anthony does not report to probation, she could face further jail time – something the defense is trying to avoid. “Hopefully it won’t get to that point,” Baez said. “We’re going through the legal process.”