A Florida appeals court on Friday upheld two of Casey Anthony’s convictions for lying to law enforcement. But she did get what she wanted on the other two, which the court struck down, ruling that they constituted double jeopardy.
Appealing four convictions related to the police investigation into her daughter’s death, Anthony essentially got a split verdict in her latest court case.
In July 2011, a jury acquitted Anthony of all the charges related to her child's death, but convicted her on four counts of lying to law enforcement. She was sentenced to four years. With credit for the time she served before and during her trial, she was released from jail later that month.
Anthony's attorneys appealed the convictions based on the double jeopardy clause of the U.S. Constitution, and whether Anthony was in police custody and was never read her Miranda rights before she made misleading comments to investigators.
The double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment prevents the government from prosecuting someone for the same crime more than once. The appellate court agreed that the double jeopardy clause should eliminate two of her convictions. But on the other two, the court says the lying convictions stand, because Anthony was in police custody.
“We have no difficulty concluding that Appellant was not in custody at the time she gave a recorded statement to Detective Melich at the Anthony residence on the morning of July 16, 2008. First, Anthony was not summoned by law enforcement officers for questioning; rather the officers went to the Anthony residence in response to 911 calls. Second, the interview took place in a spare bedroom at the Anthony residence, not in the potentially coercive environment of a sheriff’s office,” the appeals court order reads.
Anthony’s attorney, Cheney Mason tells In Session correspondent Jean Casarez that when he called Anthony to tell her about the ruling, she was grateful that two of the convictions were overturned. She also agreed with her attorney to keep fighting.
Mason says he will discuss their next legal move with attorney Lisabeth Fryer, who was also on Anthony’s defense team in her criminal trial. Mason says he has concerns about what he calls “factual inaccuracies” in the appellate court ruling.
In Session's legal experts say Anthony's next step will likely be to ask the appellate court for a rehearing.