Casey Anthony to be released from jail next week


Orlando Sentinel

Sentencing in the Casey Anthony capital murder trial in Orlando, Fla. on July 7. The judge gave Anthony the maximum sentence for her convictions, and she will be released July 13. 

CNN Wire Service

Casey Anthony will be released from jail on July 13, a court spokeswoman announced on July 7.

Judge Belvin Perry sentenced Anthony Thursday to four years in jail — one year for each of her four convictions of lying to authorities — but with credit for time served and good behavior, her release date was set for July 13.

Denying a defense motion to reduce the four counts to a single conviction, Perry gave Anthony the maximum jail time he could by ruling that the four years be served consecutively. He also fined her $1,000 for each count.

A jury acquitted Anthony on the most serious charges on July 5, including murder, in the 2008 death of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee, but convicted her on the four misdemeanor counts of lying to police.

Anthony has already spent approximately three years behind bars, and with the time off Florida offers for good behavior, officials determined she had only six more days to serve to complete her sentence.

When Anthony arrived in the courtroom Thursday, she was often seen smiling as she chatted with her attorneys.

CNN legal expert Jeffrey Toobin said Perry’s decision came as a surprise. “Most people convicted of misdemeanors do not get prison time,” he said.

The four lies at issue include Anthony lying about whether her daughter was missing; about 2-year-old Caylee being in the custody of a nanny; about having a job at Universal Studios and about having received a phone call from Caylee.

The defense argued Thursday that the multiple charges violate the so-called double jeopardy protections in the Constitution because they all came on the same day, and should be reduced to one conviction. The prosecution argued that Anthony lied at different times on the same date, and that there is no double jeopardy violation.

Perry agreed with the state and noted that each of Anthony’s lies triggered actions by investigators. The jury spoke “loud and clear” in its decision, he said.

Florida officials are asking that Anthony repay the state for the enormous cost of investigating the case.

In a motion filed Wednesday, the state called for a hearing so it can tally up costs and slap Anthony with the bill.

“The efforts and costs of the investigation were extensive and not immediately available and accordingly, the State of Florida respectfully requests this Court to set a hearing within 60 days to determine total costs,” the motion says.

The motion cites a Florida law that allows the state to fine defendants in criminal cases to recoup money spent.

Texas Equusearch, a firm that helped search for Anthony’s daughter, also wants its money back.

The company said it used 4,200 searchers and spent $112,000 looking for Caylee in Florida after the girl was reported missing in July 2008, CNN affiliate KTRK reported.

Tim Miller, the head of company, told the affiliate he now believes Caylee was never missing — and he is contemplating a lawsuit.

“This is the money that really needed to go to families that need us,” Miller told the television station.

Additionally, Anthony will also have to deal with a defamation lawsuit from the real Zenaida Gonzalez.

At the time of Caylee’s disappearance, Anthony told family members and police that the little girl was with a nanny named Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez. That is one of Anthony’s lying convictions.

Later, Anthony claimed Gonzalez had kidnapped the toddler.

Authorities never found a nanny by that name who cared for Caylee. They did, however, find a woman named Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez, who denied ever meeting Anthony. Gonzalez then filed the defamation lawsuit.

CNN’s Vivian Kuo, Martin Savidge and Lateef Mungin contributed to this report.