For Whom the Sentences Toll

Some would say that Casey Anthony got away with murder, personally I think she’s getting away with Lying and Check Fraud…

The Check Fraud Case

On January 25, 2010 Casey Anthony pled guilty to 13 counts of check fraud. As a result of her guilty plea, the Honorable Judge Stan Strickland adjudicated her guilty on six of the felonies, withheld adjudication of guilt on the other seven, and sentenced her to 412 days in jail as credit for the time she previously served to be followed by one year of supervised probation.

The 412 days was based upon the amount of time between her arrest and the date of her plea.

Importantly, as will be explained, Ms. Anthony has yet to be released from the Orange County Jail to actually serve her one year of probation, as she was also being held in the Orange County Jail on another, more serious case.

The More Serious Case

On July 5, 2011 Ms. Anthony was acquitted of the most serious crimes she was charged with and was instead, only found guilty of four First Degree Misdemeanor counts of Lying to a Law Enforcement Officer during the Course of an Investigation. Based upon the jury’s verdict, the maximum sentence Ms. Anthony could receive was four years in the Orange County Jail and $4,000 in fines. The Very Honorable Judge Belvin Perry set off sentencing until July 7, 2011.

A Serious Sentence for a Serious Case

On July 7, 2011 The Very Honorable Judge Belvin Perry sentenced Ms. Anthony to consecutive sentences of one year in the county jail with credit for 1,043 days already served in the Orange County Jail awaiting trial. In addition, he imposed a fine of $1,000 on each count. The resulting sentence totaled four years in the Orange County Jail and $4,000 in fines, which on paper, looks to be the maximum possible sentence The Very Honorable Judge Belvin Perry could have handed down.

But Casey, We Were Just Getting to Know You!

About an hour later, Orange County Corrections announced that after taking into account the 1,043 days credit for time served, as well as good time and gain time, Ms. Anthony would be released from the Orange County Jail by Sunday, July 17, 2011.

Later that same day, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings released a statement haling the Very Honorable “Judge Belvin Perry, Jr. for giving the maximum sentence allowable under the law.”

And to Think, We Could Have Spent More Time Together…

There is only one problem, it was not the maximum sentence allowable under the law.

Rather, the maximum sentence allowable under the law would have been for The Very Honorable Judge Belvin Perry to have sentenced Ms. Anthony to consecutive sentences of one year in the county jail with credit for 631 days already served in the Orange County Jail awaiting trial.

But how can that be you say! She has been in jail for 1,043 days, not 631?

Under Florida law, a judge is not required to give a defendant credit for time previously served on unrelated sentences while awaiting trial. See Jackson v. State, 23 So. 3d 853 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009) (“Where a defendant is held to answer for numerous charges, he is not entitled to have his jail time credit pyramided by being given credit on each sentence for the full time he spends in jail awaiting disposition of multiple charges or cases.”); See also Hardenbrook v. State, 953 So. 2d 717 (Fla. 1st DCA 2007).

What this means is that the Very Honorable Judge Belvin Perry had the authority to deny Ms. Anthony credit for 412 of the 1,043 days he credited her with previously serving, as that time had been credited to her already by the Honorable Stan Strickland on the Check Fraud Charges.

If the Very Honorable Judge Belvin Perry had exercised his judicial discretion to do so, Ms. Anthony would likely be spending at least 9 more months in the Orange County Jail after taking into account good time and gain time.

There Are No Do-Overs

And before you ask, I am sorry to say it is too late for the State to request a rehearing. The case law is crystal clear; once a sentence is imposed, it can not be modified to the detriment of the defendant. See Stang v. State, 24 So. 3d 566, 570 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009) (“The Courts have repeatedly held that a trial court may not rescind jail credit that was previously awarded, even if the initial award was improper, because such an action violates double jeopardy.”)

Well, She Still Has One Year of Felony Probation…

Luckily for us, Ms. Anthony does still has one year of felony probation to serve on her Check Fraud convictions…. Hold on, wait a sec, what’s that?

Beth Karas on Prime News with Vinnie Politan is reporting that Cheney Mason claims:

“Ms. Anthony has served her probation (while in jail)  and when she leaves on Wednesday she is a free agent, can go anywhere she wants…”

Now looka, I say looka here son;  maybe that Mason fella just might be on to something. According to a January 29, 2010 article by the Orlando Sentinel, Ms. Anthony’s probation was scheduled to end on January 24, 2011 … Ruh, Ro! That was six months ago…

Please, Say it Ain’t So…

It ain’t so, or at least it shouldn’t be.

This is because Florida law is very clear that Ms. Anthony’s probationary period was tolled while she was incarcerated awaiting trial on that serious case we discussed earlier. See Bradley v. State, 721 So. 2d 775 (Fla. 5th DCA 1998) (Finding the defendant’s “term of state supervision was tolled during period defendant was incarcerated on an unrelated case.”); See also Brooks v. State, 762 So. 2d 1011 (Fla. 5th DCA 2000) (Defendant “erroneously contends that he completed his split sentence while incarcerated before he began his probation. He cannot have successfully completed a split sentence if he never served the probationary part, even when the sentence is a “true split” sentence. Additionally, because he was incarcerated on another offense at the time he was released from the custodial portion of his sentence in this case, defendant’s probation was tolled until he was paroled in his other case.”) See also Schurman v. State, 847 So. 2d 569 (Fla. 1st DCA 2003)  (“Although the incarcerative portion of his sentence in Case No. 93-202 may have expired prior to his release from prison in May 1998, the probationary portion of that sentence was tolled while he remained in prison on other sentences, and it did not begin to run until appellant was released in May 1998. Therefore, his probationary sentence in Case No. 93-202 was [still] in effect upon his release.”)

Finally, it is worth pointing out that the fundamental reasoning behind this line of cases is that “the underlying concept of probation is rehabilitation rather than punishment and presupposes the fact that probationer is not in prison confinement.”  Hatton v. State, 689 So. 2d 1195 (Fla. 4th DCA 1997)

The Law is Only the Law

Notably, the Florida Department of Corrections Offender Lookup website no longer lists Casey Anthony as a probationer, which means they agree with Mr. Mason’s interpretation.

So while the law may say Casey Anthony should still be on one year of felony probation when she is released, the law “don’t mean a hill of beans” if neither the State or the defendant follow the law.

A Final Single Finger Salute to J. Cheney Mason

Finally, I wanted to give a single finger salute to J. Cheney Mason. During Mr. Mason’s (very deserved) victory speech, he declared:

I say that dog is lower than a snake full of buckshot

“Bias and prejudice and incompetent ‘talking heads’ saying what would be and how to be — I’m disgusted by some of the lawyers that have done this. I can tell you that my colleagues from coast to coast and border to border have condemned this whole process of lawyers getting on television and talking about cases they don’t know a damn thing about.”

Mr. Mason ended that sissy fit with a proclamation that the “talking heads” would be hearing from him and his team.

The following day I received several phone calls from various sources and reporters who indicated that J. Cheney Mason had, in fact, not been sleeping through most of Ms. Anthony’s trial as we all suspected.

Rather he had actually spent that time compiling a list of “talking head” attorneys that he was going to go after, alleging either defamation or violation of the Florida Rules of Professional Conduct.

I was allegedly confirmed to be one of those “talking head” attorneys.

Well J. Cheney Mason, I have only one response to that.

Call me, I’m waiting…

Cheney, my office number is (407) 540-1551, so instead of cornering reporters and brow beating them for quoting me, feel free to pick up the phone like a man and call me whenever you “want to talk” about what has gotten your boots so tight.

But since I doubt you would ever do that, here are four other suggestions for you to consider:

  1. Brush up on the word Hypocrite.
  2. Review your own commentary about Jose Baez and Ms. Anthony’s case.
    • “You can pretty well predict there’s going to be a life sentence, either a plea and get it over with or have a circus trial and then be convicted and get life.” – J. Cheney Mason (12/12/2008)
    • “Then all the talking, all the press interviews and the parents going on this show and that show and the lawyer [Jose Baez] going on different shows establishes they have no credibility whatsoever.” – J. Cheney Mason (12/12/2008)
  3. Read this little gem on the First Amendment.
  4. Sit on this and rotate :-)

Comments

239 thoughts on “For Whom the Sentences Toll

  1. I beleve it wasn’t a fair trail but what ever you guys think then so be it!! You are a bunch of not heads that only wanna give her a chance?? Meanwhile she didn’t give that baby a chance in the world!!

  2. The jury didn’t understand the questions on the paper, and that was not justice!!! Justice would mean that every jury would understand, and not be a bunch of idiots who call this justice!! I bet you that if caylee was here, and if she could talk, she would say the same??

  3. Now that Mason is playing the immaturity angle for C Anthony’s actions, instead of client is FUBAR, can someone explain how massive financial thefts are childlike? If so, how is it that I managed to get through my childhood without stealing from everyone around me? I must be a freak. I didn’t realize that felonious criminality was a stage in growing up or child development.

    BTW, Murdoch hired Ollie North’s defense atty.

  4. The Caylee Anthony case started as a STORY and ended as a STORY.
    PERIOD…

    Casey told a story
    The family told a Story
    The defense told a story
    The prosecutor told a story

    Not one person could come up with the most important and one quetion that shall always linger…..THE TRUTH

    End of STORY…unfortunately

    • Sadly, I don’t think this sh*t will ever end, at least not on HLN, which is officially dead to me now.

      • If the Japan earthquake or Bin Laden slaying occurred next week then this would all be done and forgotten. 6 months from now it will be Casey who?

        Frankly, the Zealots need to get off her case. She’s constitutionally innocent. Hard Luck!!!

        • So where do you get the exclamation points, at the wholesale club, Trader Joe’s or ShopRite with a 3 for one special? You don’t need to waste them all at once, one at a time is sufficient.

  5. Mr. Hornsby,

    If she legally changes her name and moves out of state, will that absolve her of any culpability concerning all the civil civil suits filed against Casey Anthony? Will the state be able to still file an investigation cost claim against her regardless of any name change?

  6. I think this was self explanatory. I have some questions how did C.A. describe a real Zenaida Gonzalez?, do apt. complexes in Orlando require a picture with an
    application? Was this Z.Gonzalez really harmed ? I have a very common name
    have had confusion, I am glad people had reason. It is a shame what happened to Caylee. I just heard this how does the patent on her name work? How can it be monitored?

    • Casey was shown a picture of the woman and she could not identify her, but on publicly released jail house records, she told her parents that the police did not show her a picture of this Zenaida, leaving the impression upon the public that the police where not doing their job and that this woman could be the questionable nanny. Her parents also relayed that same story to the press. As far as I know apt. complexes might take copies of D.L. pictures but I’m not sure.

      Early in the investigation, there was a frenzy just as there is now. People were harrassing several women with the same name Zenaida Gonzalez. The public was amazed that there was actually a real Zenaida Gonzalez connection to the exact Sawgrass apt. This woman was also being harrassed especially after the Sawgrass connection came out and dispite the fact that police where saying they cleared her. Some people were actually assuming that Casey’s story was true and that she was somehow involved.
      Casey Anthony herself, at that time, was the one who needed to declare that this woman was not the woman she was lying about, not her lawyers or her parents. This Zenaida woman did not interject herself into this case as many of the other characters have.

      • Gonzalez is a Troll. She’s a nobody who is looking to make a quick buck through settlement. The whole thing is driven by Morgan & Morgan. Good luck…they deserve nothing

        • Gonzalez filed suit several years ago. It’s not like they just filed a lawsuit after the verdict like many others are doing. They did not know at that time what the out come of the trial would be at that time. Anyone can file a civil suit now days. It’s her right, just as it’s Casey’s right to counter sue. What ever the outcome is, is what it will be. Then there will probably be appeal anyway.

        • I don’t think you would speak so poorly of Mrs Gonzalez if you were in her place. Baez blamed everyone else for the death of Caylee and not his client. Casey Anthony has destroyed MANY lives—sorry to hear you weren’t on her list; perhaps, then, you wouldn’t be trashing one of Casey’s victims. Hope Mrs Gonzalez wins her case.

      • Mrs Gonzalez completed a card with her name, address, etc. And yes, many apartment complexes do take photos of your D.L. and keeps it on file for future references. This isn’t just in FL, but in many other States as well. Casey Anthony saw the card at the Sawgrass Apt and was present, from what I understand, when Ms Gonzalez filled the card out. That’s how CA got the info.

  7. Hi Richard,
    Please answer this question for me. Can the State go after Casey Anthony for UNLAWFUL DISPOSAL OF A BODY? TKS.!

    • it’s done – she got her fair trial – she was acquitted – she’s innocent. The state cannot go after her on any other aspect of the alleged crime.

      get over it. Maybe one day you’ll need your fair trial.

      • No one reallly ‘gets over’ a miscarriage of justice and the reason is if one is ever under circumstances that would require the use of a jury, they may NOT get a fair verdict…besides, Casey Anthony is guilty and SHE knows it. What I hope to hear from her is the admission that she did murder her baby daughter—during one of those high class interviews she and Baez are juicing up for. After all, Casey knows she can never be tried again for the crime, so she may think its okay to fess up. And by the way, Jockey, the declaration of “not guilty” does NOT establish innocence. All the verdict tells you is that the jury did not find enough evidence to convict (they did have enough, but didn’t like the notion of a death penalty coming from their own mouth).

  8. What about the felony charges that the other judge withheld adjudication on? He said he would wait until after the other legal issues (murder trial) were cleared up. Can she be sentenced on the remaining charges now? It would help–sure would like to see her on probation ar least 2 years.

  9. Richard,
    In all this crazy, minute by minute drama, that I have viewed since Day 1, there is one thing that I can be sure of and that is YOU putting a smile on my face at the end of each and every one of your commentaries, this one being my favorite. I only hope dat country boy Mason will take you up on your offer – would make yet another good commentary. Thanks for ‘keeping it real’ for all of us! We may not like how it ended but it IS what it IS and I, for one, am glad I don’t have to walk in her shoes…

  10. I watched this trial from beginning to end and found the verdict to be confirmation that this jury did not understand, could not understand, or did not want to understand circumstantial evidence and in addition, decided to deliberate over the possibility that George Anthony murdered his grandchild and/or dumped her in a swamp. I also have no regard for any of the defense attorneys in the case, who spoke with with forked tongues. Their claims about upholding the constitution and dispelling “junk forensics” fell flat when they agreed as a team to use George and Lee Anthony as scapegoats by accusing them of sexually abusing their client in opening statement. The case was about publicity for the defense attorneys primarily interested in their own promotion. I do not think for one minute that any of them believed that Casey Anthony should have been found not guilty of all three murder counts, but now there will be pots of gold under all their rainbows.

  11. Question for you Richard:

    Is it an ethical violation for Baez to be negotiating lucrative media deals for Casey since he is not her entertainment attorney? Why would her criminal attorney be doing this? Especially because he stands to significantly benefit financially from these deals, isn’t this a serious conflict of interest?

  12. Your a great attorney but very much a useless blog. Criminal defense attorneys are paid to win bottom line. That’s why great legal minds end up putting cases together and not presenting them.. Baez sold it perfect in the closing he didn’t use the law he sold the person it was sales you think the common juror understands forensics and all the statutes u list in the blog the answer is no !! If people are to stupid to see that he used sales tactics over law they shouldn’t comment or practice the law.

    • Baez did do a good closing argument, but if you think for a minute that a good criminal defense attorney can get by without knowing the law, well I shudder to think what type of attorney you would pay to win for you. Also, since I get a feeling your jab is at me, be sure to do your homework before you imply certain people don’t try cases (Hint: I’m the only attorney in Florida who lists every case he’s tried.)

      • My jab wasn’t at you at all . It was for the other people that posted . You know the law I read your other blogs and plus one cannot get through law school and run a practice without great knowledge. Would Baez have been my first choice no but in her situation he was perfect, a man with nothing to lose and everything to gain it was played well I think u know what I mean . Most defense attorneys would have took the plea it made the most sense why risk death.. But I think people forget about the salesmanship involved like the glove don’t fit you must acquit and etc…he sold common people. If a jury was made up of legal professionals like yourself we all know what the outcome would have been .. That’s a big question I always had if you could answer why isn’t a jury made up of retired lawyers and etc that know the law and understand reasonable doubt and etc ?

      • Earlier today before I found your new analysis I went to your website and saw that you list all of your trials & outcomes! I was very pleasantly surprised to see that. I was amazed at your outcomes. I knew that you were a top notch & very ethical criminal atty but the outcomes were amazing to me & impressive. I had never seen a lawyer’s website that posted those but I just thought that FL atty’s do things differently than they do here in CA. Did not know till I just read your response above that you are the one & only that does this in FL. Good for you, Richard.

    • I thought lawyers were salesmen/saleswomen-LOL. It’s called presentation, some do it better than others.

      I think Mr. Hornsby provides a great public service with his blog site. I have learned more about the legal system from reading case laws and statutes because of Mr. Hornsby’s posts. I would never have been able to find these examples on my own(or it would have taken a really long time), since I’m not a lawyer.

      And Tom, who appointed you the governing authority on who should comment (either pro or con) or who should or shouldn’t practice law? I thought this was still a free country.

      • I guess the same governing authority that appointed you to question my post. It is a free country so I posted my thoughts your correct on that . I read all his blogs he wasn’t biased he pointed out things wrong on both sides. My post was to people who don’t understand presentation and the fact its over. I don’t think verdicts should be questioned that’s all. Mr. Hornsby has beat some hard cases and I would never question his outcomes the cases are over .. And I applaud him for listing his cases he isn’t talking a good game he is producing results for clients.. More attorneys should have to do the same instead of posting there AV rating

    • You are forgetting how much outside assistance was given to Baez by attorneys who actually know the law.

  13. Good point, Interested. I heard LKB state on CNN that she was texting him questions to ask right in the courtroom and I’m sure that she wasn’t the only one.

    • Why not take advice from more seasoned attorneys though ? I could care a less about the guy but I don’t think it reflects poorly on someone who understands they are in above there head and ask for help..O.J. Had seven attorneys so does that mean Cochran or Shapiro didn’t know the law ?

      • Oh please, what a sad analogy/comparison. If both were salesman, Cochran would have been the guy who actually knew features and benefits of a product, inside and out. He’d have been ‘the guy’ developing the marketing strategy. Baez, on the other hand, is the equivalent of the cubicle cold caller who reads from a script, calls you at dinner time, throws in lots of items not actually included in the product, and fumbles if the prospective buyer has a question or obstacle, with the manager always by his side, at the ready, for assistance. The point is, some people need a decent reason to buy something, and others are simply more susceptible to a purchase. Baez got lucky based on the small demographic he worked with (and the dynamic of influence within) the massive amount of assistance he received, the leeway from the gov’t (judge) but also that the opposing sales team was working with a good strong product that had some glaring defective explanations for parts, and that the cost of their product was pricey. So, in essence, those customers threw the baby out with the bath water, without logically evaluating or considering the legitimacy of the totality of the opposing sales pitch. Baez is not a genius. He is a used car salesman who was able to unload a lemon. Even he was surprised at the verdict.

        I would call Hornsby, or even a DEAD Johnnie Cochran to defend me, before even considering looking up Baez’s number.

  14. I wouldn’t use anyone u named to defend me if I was paying . Did u forget she wasn’t paying genius she was pro Bono ? Face it the guy won and your a pseudo intellectual if your so good pass your GED go to college and get a degree then apply for law school and post the results so I can be amused. And now you will say you have a degree will apply for law school and shock the world like he did if its so easy..but that is life always someone with small life achievements that-knock someone else’s achievement. Well here is a great analogy for you no one remembers the super bowl play for play and who made mistakes they just remember the champion hence the “winner” how you get there doesn’t matter people only remember winners not your analogies face it. This is what counts in the legal system you only need to hire a attorney better then that state prosecutor and she did so mission accomplished . You don’t need the best just better than what they. And by the way he was shocked at the verdict ?? Well who wasn’t if you weren’t you should have bet it like I did. Vegas odds on not guilty were + 3500

    • A few things: Hornsby is very smart, why are you even here if you think he is inadequate, that his opinion doesn’t count, or that he wouldn’t be a great defense attorney to hire? Casey Anthony paid Baez over $ 200k, but why quibble with facts, they get in the way, amirite? To The rest of your post: something something something and something else. Let me go put on some shades as I am now blinded by the brilliance; my fake intelligence can not withstand the bright illumination .

      • Well your post wasn’t about Mr.Hornsby and if he is a great lawyer. You posted your thoughts on Baez being a bad lawyer and a used car salesman. And I pointed out that he won a landmark case. And she paid 200k upfront ?wow never heard that one before. Mr.Hornsby resume and results speak volumes . He is using the blog as a educational tool so the public understands the verdict and due process. Read his other Post on evidence suppressed. This isn’t a blog to degrade a attorney who just won a case go on Facebook for that.

        • Look, I didn’t initially intend to insult you. I simply felt that you were disparaging both Johnnie and Richard, and expressed far too much reverence for Baez. I have my opinion, as do you. Nothing against Baez personally, but he did not win this case because of individual brilliance and he certainly did not win due to masterful comprehension and use of law. No matter, I’m sick of it, all of the players, their shenanigans, as well as the associated fan clubs. Baez did so many unethical things like orchestrating the sale of Caylee’s photos (in conflict of interest?), so much stumbling and blabbing to the press, amongst many other things, that he does not impress me simply because there was a not guilty verdict. I believe that verdict was arrived at due to various other factors, and yes, a portion of kudos deserves to go to Baez. I just feel the post verdict credit has been blown way out of proportion, especially since everyone witnessed his actions pretrial and during trial. And please, don’t tell me ‘where to go’, unless you would like me to respond in kind, and Facebook won’t be the suggestion. I look forward to Hornsby embarking on new subject matter, I’ll wait patiently.

          • I hear you I thought the sales of the pics was very low. I wouldn’t hire Baez for a DUI personally lol but I thought he was great for the case it was a train wreck and he added to it . He had everyone confused including the jurors I don’t know if your from Florida but the jurors were selected from the woods basically worked great for him and the old man.. I did like the way Baez closed and I thought he had balls taking it to trial. ..Post come across wrong I don’t think Baez will be teaching law anytime soon or is a great legal mind by a long-shot. I will give him credit for winning and taking advice from seasoned attorneys instead of trying to be a hero ..

    • Tom Jones, I’m not trying to be a “pseudo intellectual” as you accused Interested of being. But you really have to bone up on some writing rules. You jumble one thought after another, after another, etc. I just won’t read something so disorganized, and you may have something legitimate to say. Your message is getting lost due to your delivery.

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