By Jeff Weiner, Orlando Sentinel –
ORLANDO, Fla. — Casey Anthony is free.
More than a year after she was acquitted of murder, Anthony, 26, was slated to complete her probation at midnight Thursday on unrelated check-fraud charges, according to her civil-defense lawyer, Charles Greene.
Anthony will no longer be under law-enforcement supervision and is free to go where she chooses. Where she’ll go — and what she’ll do for the rest of her life — remains a mystery to the public, and her attorney acknowledged her plans remain in flux.
“Her future plans are the subject of serious deliberation and discussion,” Greene told the Orlando Sentinel on Wednesday. “I have sincere concerns as to her safety.”
Florida Department of Corrections officials have declined to comment on the end date or time of Anthony’s probation term, but said Wednesday that she was still under supervision.
Anthony’s trial in the 2008 death of her daughter, 2-year-old Caylee Marie, captivated the nation last summer. Televised gavel-to-gavel from coast to coast, interest in the case drew comparisons to the ultra-high-profile prosecution of O.J. Simpson.
Prosecutors alleged Anthony killed her daughter with duct tape, disposed of the body in a swampy area near her home and then lied to her parents and partied for a month. Anthony’s defense explained her lies as the result of years of sexual abuse by her father, and Caylee’s death as an accidental drowning in the family’s pool.
Anthony was acquitted of murder in July 2011 but was ordered to serve a year’s probation for an earlier check-fraud conviction that her defense argued she had already served while in jail awaiting trial in her daughter’s death.
She has spent that probation in hiding. Corrections officials have noted no probation violations. On her monthly check-in forms, released under Florida’s public-records laws, Anthony indicated that she has been unemployed and — with the exception of one month she reported drinking alcohol — sober for her probation term.
In interviews, Cheney Mason, one of Anthony’s criminal-defense attorneys, has described her existence while in hiding as similar to prison; she can’t go out in public, he says, for fear of those who still blame her for Caylee’s death. Mason told the Sentinel in July that he doubts Anthony will ever have a normal life.
“I don’t know that she’s ever going to have the opportunity,” he said.
Will we see her again? It’s possible.
Anthony was recently subpoenaed to come back to Orange County and appear in a civil trial in January — one of three lawsuits she currently faces in connection with Caylee’s death.
In the meantime, as far as the state of Florida is concerned, Anthony will be free to do as she pleases.