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Casey Anthony must return for probation, judge rules

Casey Anthony must return to Florida's Orange County to serve probation for check fraud, a judge ruled Friday.
/ Source: NBC News and

Casey Anthony must return to Florida's Orange County no later than Aug. 26 in order to serve a one-year probation for check fraud, a judge ruled Friday.

Judge Belvin Perry had to rule on whether Anthony, 25, should serve probation for a check fraud conviction — or if she had already completed it while awaiting her murder trial in the Orange County Jail.

Perry said he would authorize the Department of Corrections to make an exception and keep Anthony's address private during her probation.

"It is clear the court stated the defendant's probation was to start once she was released from jail," Perry said in his order.

Anthony's attorneys had argued that she served her probation while in jail awaiting trial in her murder case and requiring her to do so again would be double jeopardy. They also argued that her life would be in danger if her location were known, given that she has received death threats.

Anthony has been in hiding since she was acquitted in July of murdering her 2-year-old daughter Caylee in 2008.

The not-guilty verdict surprised and outraged many legal pundits and millions of Americans who had watched her six-week trial live on television. Perry was also the judge in that case.

Anthony was in jail awaiting trial for Caylee's murder when she was sentenced over the check fraud in January last year.

Anthony pleaded guilty to 13 counts of stealing checks from a friend. She was sentenced to 412 days in Orange County Jail with credit for 412 days served and was ordered to pay $5,517.75 in court costs in addition to the year's probation.

Department of Corrections officials had thought that the judge's order meant Anthony should serve probation while in jail, but the judge in the case later said he had meant for her to serve the sentence if she was released.

Meanwhile, a new poll that tracks public perceptions of celebrities found that Anthony is the most hated person in America, NBC affiliate WISE-TV reported.

Anthony was more disliked than California's "Octomom," former football star O.J. Simpson and socialite Paris Hilton, according to the poll released on Wednesday by E-Poll Market Research.

On Thursday, a report by Florida's Department of Children and Families said Anthony had failed to protect Caylee, which ultimately resulted in the child's death.

"The inactions by the mother were clearly failure to protect. As the child was found dead, obviously the failure to protect led to the death," DCF spokesman Joe Follick said.

Anthony failed to report her daughter's disappearance in 2008 for more than a month, and that failure interfered with the law enforcement investigation and efforts to find the child, the report noted.

The agency also concluded that Caylee died as a result of abuse or neglect, but the report said the agency was unable to substantiate that the toddler had died from asphyxiation.

Anthony will not face additional charges as a result of the report.