Florida Appeals Court Throws Out 2 of 4 of Casey Anthony's Convictions
Florida's 5 District Court of Appeals decided on Friday to threw out two of Casey Anthony's four convictions of "providing false information to a law enforcement officer during a missing person investigation", agreeing with her argument that the multiple convictions violated the ban on double jeopardy.
The appeals judges did, however, uphold the other two convictions. The court filing reveals that they rejected Anthony's claim that the trial court should have granted her motion to suppress statements made to law enforcement officers before they told her her Miranda rights. They also rejected her argument that the state statute she was convicted of is unconstitutionally vague.
Anthony's lawyer, Cheney Mason, said that when he contacted his client to share the ruling, she replied "We keep fighting."
Anthony could appeal the remaining two convictions to the Florida Supreme Court.
The four charges stemmed from statements that Anthony made on July 16, 2008, to Orange County Detective Yuri Melich, who was investigating the disappearance of the woman's 2-year-old-daughter, Caylee.
Anthony became a household name after her mother, Cindy Anthony, called police to arrest her daughter the day before, when she believed that Casey had stolen the family car and some money. During the call to police, Cindy also said that she was concerned that her granddaughter might be missing and said, "I found my daughter's car today, and it smelled like there's been a dead body in the damn car."
When she was questioned by police, Casey Anthony admitted that she had not seen Caylee for more than 30 days. On July 16, she was arrested on suspicion of child neglect, filing false official statements, and obstructing a criminal investigation. At this time, she made the statements to Melich. This led to her convictions.
A utility worker found remains in a wood area near the Anthony home. A week later, authorities announced that the remains were of Caylee.
Anthony's capital murder trial began on May 24, 2011, after 3 years of various legal maneuvers delayed its start. Prosecutors in the case alleged that she killed Caylee by using chloroform and covering her nose and mouth with duct tape, and that she then put her body in the trunk of her car before dumping it in the woods.
Anthony's defense attorney, Jose Baez, argued that Caylee had drowned in the Anthony family pool on June 16, 2008, and that Casey and her father, George, covered up the death.
A jury found Anthony not guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, and aggravated manslaughter of a child on July 5, 2011. They did, however, convict her on four "false information" counts.
Anthony was sentenced to four years in jail, to be served consecutively, including time served. She was released 10 days after her sentencing, on July 16.
She still faces a defamation lawsuit Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez of Kissimmee, Florida. During Anthony's 2008 statements to Melich, she had said that the last time she had seen her daughter was when she dropped Caylee off at Gonzalez's apartment. In September 2008, Gonzalez filed suit claiming that Anthony ruined her reputation. Last April, a judge ruled that the suit needed to go to trial by jury and denied Gonzalez's request for a summary judgment.