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Tuesday
Jan082013

Casey Anthony Awaits Decision on Appeal of Lying Convictions

Red Huber-Pool/Getty Images(DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.) -- A panel of Florida judges heard arguments Tuesday regarding Casey Anthony's four convictions for lying to authorities during the search for her daughter Caylee Anthony in 2008. Her defense attorneys are appealing the convictions.

Anthony, 26, was acquitted of murdering her 2-year-old daughter in 2011, but she was convicted on four counts of providing false information to law enforcement, stemming from her initial statements to detectives.

Anthony falsely told police that her daughter had been kidnapped by a nanny named Zenaida Gonzalez.

Anthony, who has been dubbed the most hated woman in America and has been in hiding since her release from jail, was not at the hearing at the Fifth District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach, Fla.

No ruling was made Tuesday and the court has as long as needed to make a decision.

The appeals court is being asked to decide whether Anthony was in police custody when she made the statements that led to her convictions, according to ABC News' Orlando affiliate, WFTV.

If the appeals judges decide she was in police custody, the convictions could be overturned on the grounds that the statements were inadmissible since she had not been read her Miranda rights.

The outcome of this criminal appeal could impact Anthony's pending civil suit from Zenaida Gonzalez, a woman who shared a name with the fictional nanny Anthony claimed had taken her daughter.

Gonzalez is suing Anthony for defamation, saying she was damaged by the use of her name. Gonzalez says she lost her job and was evicted from her house as a result of Anthony's tale. The two women did not know each other.

"This hearing today is critical for our case because, at this junction, we have been unable to get testimony from Casey Anthony...because she has been hiding behind the shield of the Fifth Amendment," Gonzalez's attorney, Matt Morgan, told ABC News Tuesday.

Anthony's pending criminal charge allows her to plead the Fifth so that she does not incriminate herself in her criminal case.

If the appeal is granted and the state does not appeal to the Supreme Court, Anthony could eventually be forced to answer questions about Caylee in the civil trial.

"We expect that her criminal appeal will hopefully be resolved and she will no longer have protection for the Fifth Amendment to hide behind," Morgan said.

Morgan hopes that the civil trial will be able to proceed in the late spring or early summer.

Anthony's attorney did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Anthony completed her one-year probation for check fraud in August, leaving her free to go wherever she pleases. She resurfaced a few times over the past year via a leaked video diary and a telephone conversation with Piers Morgan, but has otherwise succeeded in disappearing from the public eye.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio