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Entries in Probation (11)

Friday
Jan252013

Former Florida Teacher in Sex Case Ordered Back on Probation

ABC News(TAMPA, Fla.) -- Debra Lafave, the former Tampa, Fla., middle school teacher and pin-up model who pleaded guilty in 2005 to having sex with a 14-year-old student, has been ordered back on probation.

A trial judge released Lafave from the remainder of her probation obligation before she served her full sentence of three years house arrest and seven years probation.

On Thursday, a Hillsborough County, Fla., judge reinstated LaFave’s probation, ordering the mother of twins to serve another four years and two months probation, to observe a curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., and to stay away from schools, according to ABC News affiliate WFTS in Tampa, Fla.

Attending court Thursday morning with her parents, Lafave told reporters how she spent her year off of probation.

“My mom was diagnosed with cancer for the second time and I spent my … off-probation taking care of her,” she said, according to WFTS.  “I’m so fortunate that I was able to take her to chemo treatments and spend the nights with her when she needed me the most.”

Even with Thursday’s ruling, though, the matter may not be settled.

“The Supreme Court of Florida has accepted jurisdiction of the case,” said Lafave’s attorney, John Fitzgibbons, according to WFTS.  “We’re hopeful we will receive a favorable ruling in the next six months to a year from the Supreme Court, and that should finally conclude things one way or another in this case.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan042013

Chicago Duct Tape Dad Given Probation for Binding Toddler

Facebook(CHICAGO) -- A Chicago judge ruled Friday that a dad convicted of aggravated battery for binding his 18-month old daughter with tape and taping her mouth shut will not have to go to prison, but serve probation instead.

Andre Curry, 22, was ordered Friday to serve 18 months probation, undergo parenting classes and submit to periodic drug tests.

Curry was arrested in December 2011 after posting a photo of the little girl on Facebook with the caption: "This is wut happens wen my baby hits me back ; )."

He was convicted in November of aggravated domestic battery and aggravated battery, and faced up to seven years in prison.

Curry has no prior criminal record and his lawyer convinced the judge to reconsider the felony conviction, dropping the charges to a misdemeanor.

Curry did not testify in his own defense, but his lawyer argued that he was just fooling around and the girl was never in danger.

"To use a child ... as a toy or a prop in an odd attempt at humor is conduct of an insulting or provoking nature," Cook County Circuit Judge Lawrence Flood said in November when Curry was found guilty.

But at Friday's sentencing Flood changed his mind, giving Curry a last minute reprieve from prison.

"It happens very rarely that a judge will take a look, do something, take a look at that and saying having heard what you've said I was wrong in the first place," said Curry's lawyer Sam Adam Jr., according to ABC affiliate WLS-TV. "There wasn't such and such evidence. The judge did that today."

A contrite Curry apologized to the court for taping up his daughter.

"I would like to thank everybody from the bottom of my heart," Curry said. "I'm very sorry for all of the pain that I put everybody through."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec312012

Florida Judge Offers Plea Deal to Neglectful Mom; Requires No More Kids

Hemera/Thinkstock(WINTER HAVEN, Fla.) -- The lawyer of a Florida mother who has been ordered not to have children during her 13-year probation sentence is having second thoughts about the plea deal.

"I've been doing this for 32 years now and I, quite frankly, have never researched that particular issue, but my gut is telling me you can't do that," attorney Nathaniel White told ABC News Monday. "This isn't something that happens every day. It's a very unusual situation."

The demand shocked both the woman and her attorney, who failed to challenge the judge's request in court Friday but now says he doubts its legality.

Kimberly Lightsey, 30, was facing four counts of child abuse for an incident on Halloween 2011 when she left her four children, ages 2 to 11 at the time, at a hotel while she went out "partying," her attorney said.

She left her children with another hotel patron named Simone who also had children. Lightsey said the woman had agreed to watch the kids.

Several hours later, Simone texted Lightsey to find out her room number.

"Apparently, Simone had been doing a little partying of her own and forgot where Ms. Lightsey's room was," White said. "In the meantime, one of the children who has to use a wheelchair because of physical limitations he has, he had gotten out into the hallway and managed to turn himself over in the wheelchair, so he's out there hollering."

Authorities were called and Lightsey was eventually charged with four counts of felony child abuse. She was convicted on all counts.

Prosecutors asked for a 32-month jail sentence in court, but Judge Ernest Jones Jr. had another idea.

At Lightsey's Friday sentencing, the judge proposed two years of house arrest and 13 years of probation, with the condition that she agree not to have any more children during that time.

"I admit that when he threw that out there about no kids, that's when I was a little stunned," White said. "I just sat there and I looked at the judge without saying anything because at that point I don't want to blow it because the judge hadn't definitely decided yet what he was going to do."

White said that on the one hand, he was worried that if he spoke up, the judge might get irritated and send Lightsey to jail.

"On the other hand, my mind was screaming, 'I don't think this is legal,'" he said. "'I don't think you can do that, judge.'"

"The judge looks over at my client and says, 'Well, what do you think? Or you don't like that?'" White recalled.

"She had turned around and looked at the back of the courtroom where her boyfriend was," White said. "And she said something like, 'My boyfriend and I were thinking once things settle down of maybe having a child.'"

White said Jones answered with, "Well, you've already got four."

White added, "I think Jones' heart was in the right place. I'm not going to say that it's necessarily a bad thing for this woman to be told to have no more kids because she's got her hands full. But I don't think he could have legally prevented that."

The judge was not available to comment Monday. The American Civil Liberties Union said it is looking into the matter.

Lightsey accepted the condition.  However, after having time to think, White said he has a number of concerns about the edict.

"What happens if she gets herself pregnant?" White wondered. "Oh, my God, what a dilemma that is."

He said he plans to sit down with his client and encourage her to appeal the order.

The Florida judge's condition was not the first time this year a judge has made an unusually personal demand.

In February, a Florida judge ordered a man to take his wife out to dinner and bowling, complete with flowers. The sentence came after the couple had a physical altercation when the husband forgot the wife's birthday.

And in Oklahoma, in November, a judge sentenced a teen offender to attend church as part of his probation arrangement.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov162012

Oklahoma Judge Sentences Teen to Church for 10 Years

Comstock/Thinkstock(MUSKOGEE, Okla.) -- Anybody who knows Oklahoma District Court Judge Mike Norman probably yawned at the news that he’d sentenced a teen offender to attend church as part of his probation arrangement, and that the judge’s pastor was in the courtroom at the time.

Not only had he handed down such a sentence before, but he’d required one man to bring the church program back with him when he reported to court.

“The Lord works in many ways,” Norman, 69, told ABC News Friday. “I’ve done a little bit of this kind of thing before, but never on such a serious charge.”

Norman sentenced Tyler Alred, 17, Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in August for killing friend and passenger John Luke Dum in a car crash.

Dum died on impact in December after Alred crashed his Chevrolet pickup truck, ejecting Dum. Alred was 16 at the time of the crash and had been drinking prior to the deadly accident.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol issued a Breathalyzer at the time, and although Alred was under the state’s legal alcohol limit, he had been drinking underage.

The judge could have sent Alred to jail but, instead, taking into account his clean criminal and school records, sentenced him to wear a drug and alcohol bracelet, participate in counseling groups and attend a church of his choosing – weekly. He must also graduate from high school.

To avoid jail time, Norman gave Alred a maximum 10-year deferred sentence.

He’d never passed down the church-attendance requirement for someone as young as Alred,  said Norman, who has worked as a district Judge in Muskogee for 14 years.

“It’s not going to be automatic, I guarantee you,”  Norman said of the church sentence on future manslaughter charges. “There are a lot of people who say I can’t do what I did. They’re telling me I can’t legally sentence someone to church.”

Alred’s lawyer is not among the critics. “I usually represent outlaws and criminals,” defense attorney Donn Baker told the Muskogee Phoenix. “This is a kid that made a mistake. I think he’s worth saving.”

In the courtroom this week, an emotional scene between the victim’s family and Alred played out after statements from Dum’s mother, father and two sisters were read during the sentencing. Dum’s father and Alred stood up in court, turned toward each other and embraced one another.

“At that moment, it sure became a reality to me that I would sentence this boy to church” to help set him on the right path, Norman, a member of First Baptist Church in Muskogee, said. “There’s nothing I can do to make this up to the family."

“I told my preacher I thought I led more people to Jesus than he had but, then again, more of my people have amnesia. They soon forget once they get out of jail.”

After completing the rest of the requirements in his sentence, Alred will have the charge removed from his record.

“Only time will tell if we’ve saved Tyler Alred’s life,” the judge said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug242012

Casey Anthony Completes Her Probation

Red Huber-Pool/Getty Images)(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- Casey Anthony has completed her one-year probation sentence for check fraud, leaving her free to go wherever she pleases.

Anthony's attorney Charles Greene told ABC News that Anthony was free as of midnight, but that she has many issues to face before she attempts to move forward with her life.

"She's lost her daughter, she's lost most or all of her family, she's lost her friends, she's reviled by a percentage of the population and that will probably never change," Greene said. "She will never be able to walk down the street with anonymity."

Anthony, 26, was acquitted last summer of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee Anthony.

After Anthony's acquittal, Florida Judge Belvin Perry ordered her to serve one year of probation for a 2010 check fraud conviction. Prior to her first degree murder trial, Anthony pleaded guilty to stealing checks from her best friend Amy Huizenga during the time that Caylee was missing.

Since then, Anthony has been serving her probation from an undisclosed Florida location. She has resurfaced a few times over the past year via a leaked video diary and a telephone conversation with CNN's Piers Morgan, but has otherwise succeeded in disappearing from the public eye.

Greene would not comment on any details of Anthony's whereabouts or her future plans.

Anthony has checked in with probation officers every month for the past year and her monthly reports have been public. Anthony's reports have consistently said that she is unemployed, has not been taking any classes and has not been drinking alcohol or taking drugs.

"It'd be hard to imagine that, at least in the very near future, she could ever have what many of us would consider a normal life," Greene said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug212012

Casey Anthony to Be a Free Woman as Probation Ends

Red Huber-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Casey Anthony's one-year probation sentence for check fraud ends this week, giving her the freedom to go wherever she pleases.

"As of Friday, Aug. 24 at 12 a.m., nobody will be able to tell her where to be," Anthony's attorney Charles Greene told ABC News.

"She's complied with all the terms of her probation and she's looking forward to having her freedom to move forward because, even though she's been out of jail for the last year, she's essentially still been in prison by the requirement that she remains in one location," Greene said.

Anthony, 26, was acquitted last summer of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee Anthony.

After her acquittal, Florida Judge Belvin Perry ordered her to serve one year of probation for a 2010 check fraud conviction.  Prior to her first degree murder trial, Anthony pleaded guilty to stealing checks from her best friend Amy Huizenga during the time that Caylee was missing.

Since then, Anthony has been serving her probation from an undisclosed Florida location. She has 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.

Anthony has been unemployed for the past year, according to her monthly probation reports, so it is unclear where any money she might use comes from.  She has not published a book or sold her story in any known capacity.

Greene hopes that one day she will tell her own story.

"There's things she wants to say, but they need to be on her time, her terms, her conditions," he said.  "I hope that one day she says more."

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May242012

Casey Anthony Reportedly Spends Days Eating in Front of Computer

Red Huber-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Casey Anthony has been gaining weight as she serves her probation in hiding somewhere in southern Florida, two sources told People magazine.

“Quite honestly, she’s gained a few pounds,” the source told the magazine. “She does nothing but sit in front of her computer and eat.”

Anthony, 26, was acquitted last July of murder in the death of her daughter, Caylee, but was convicted on four counts of lying to law enforcement for claiming that 2-year-old Caylee had been kidnapped by a babysitter. She is currently serving one year of probation in Florida for a check fraud conviction.

After being released from jail, Anthony went into hiding amid death threats from people who were shocked that she was not convicted of killing her daughter. She has maintained a very low profile, but might soon be forced to take the stand in a civil suit against her.

The suit was filed by Zenaida Gonzalez, a Florida woman suing Anthony for defamation. During the search for Caylee, Anthony told investigators her daughter had been kidnapped by a fictional babysitter named Zenaida Gonzalez. The real Gonzalez has never met Anthony, but claimed that her reputation was ruined by the association to the case.

The case goes to trial in January and Anthony so far has avoided any in-person appearances related to the case. In October, she filmed a video deposition from an undisclosed location in which she was disguised in sunglasses, a baseball cap and what appeared to be a long, black wig. Her attorney invoked the Fifth Amendment for nearly every question so she did not have to respond.

Sources told People that Anthony is dreading her possible court appearance in January.

“Casey was really hoping to leave Florida and never look back,” the source said. “She was really ready to move on with her life. This has ruined everything.”

Her probation is scheduled to be complete in August, but a required court appearance could force her to stay in the area, at least until January.

“Casey just wants this case to go away,” the source said. “She definitely doesn’t want to testify, and she’s annoyed that she has to.”

Anthony’s attorney, Cheney Mason, was not available for comment.

Monthly probation reports have shown that Anthony remains unemployed and broke.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Sep032011

Casey Anthony Broke, Sober and Unemployed Say Probation Officers

Red Huber-Pool/Getty Images(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- Casey Anthony is unemployed, has not consumed alcohol or drugs and has not made any money over the past month, according to the Florida Department of Corrections where Anthony reported for probation at 6 p.m. on Thursday.

“She was cooperative and answered all the questions of her probation officer,” according to a media advisory.

Anthony, the 25 year old acquitted of murdering her daughter Caylee, also reported that she had not attended any classes, had not used or purchased illegal drugs nor had any contact with law enforcement over the past 30 days. Anthony’s attorney did not wish to comment on Anthony’s probation visit.

Despite Anthony’s declaration that she does not have a job and has not made any money, there is speculation that Anthony will be able to cash in on her notoriety with a book or television appearances. So far, however, she has remained in hiding since her release from jail.

It also comes as Judge Belvin Perry presided over a hearing Friday on whether Anthony should have to reimburse local and state authorities for money spent on Caylee’s search, according to ABC News’ affiliate WFTV in Orlando. Anthony admitted to and was convicted on four counts of lying to authorities. One of her admitted lies was that Caylee had been snatched by a babysitter, triggering a massive investigation and search.

Anthony could be facing bills that add up to more than $500,000. Agencies including the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the State Attorney’s office have all been called to testify regarding how much money they spent in the search for Caylee, according to WFTV.

Prosecutors want Anthony to pay up for every day from July 15, 2008 when Caylee was reported missing to Sept. 19, 2008 when her remains were identified.

Friday’s hearing is one of several lawsuits Anthony can anticipate.

Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, the woman who shared a name with the fictional nanny Anthony claimed abducted Caylee, is suing Anthony for defamation.

“When Zenaida first came to me, we never thought Casey would see the light of day again,” Fernandez-Gonzalez’s attorney John Morgan told ABCNews.com. “It was never about money in the beginning. Now, it’s about accountability and responsibility.”

According to Morgan, Fernandez-Gonzalez received threatening phone calls, lost her home and lost her job because of Anthony’s use of her name.

Anthony is scheduled to do a video deposition for the defamation lawsuit next month and the trial has been tentatively set for April 2012.

Anthony is also facing a suit for $100,000 by EquuSearch, the volunteer search organization that hunted for Caylee after being assured by Anthony that her daughter was alive and pleading with them to help find Caylee.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐

Thursday
Aug252011

Casey Anthony Reports to Florida Probation Officer

Red Huber-Pool/Getty Images(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- Casey Anthony, the Florida woman acquitted of murdering daughter Caylee, reported to a probation officer in Florida Wednesday evening but her whereabouts are unknown.

It's unclear where in Florida and exactly what time the 25-year-old Anthony reported to the Florida Department of Corrections. An order requiring her to serve a year's probation for a previous check fraud conviction was upheld this week by a Florida court of appeals.

Florida Department of Corrections spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger has previously said that the agency will not disclose where Anthony will report to probation, as a safety precaution, ABC Affiliate WFTV reported.

Defense Attorney Jose Baez told Fox News that Anthony will serve probation "somewhere in the state of Florida" and will not have to work while on probation. Instead, she'll take classes online.

Since Anthony was released from the Orange County Jail on July 17, she's been the subject of death threats. Her only confirmed whereabouts since leaving jail have been Ohio and Florida.

Anthony was ordered earlier this month by Judge Belvin Perry to return to Florida by Aug. 26 to serve a year's probation stemming from a check fraud conviction. Before her first degree murder trial, Anthony pleaded guilty to stealing checks from best friend Amy Huizenga during the time that Caylee was missing.

An error was made on the written sentencing documents in that case, which allowed Anthony to serve her probation while in jail awaiting trial for murder. Judge Stan Strickland, who presided over the check fraud case, had intended for her to serve probation once she left jail.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug232011

Casey Anthony Loses Probation Appeal, Must Come Out of Hiding by Friday

Red Huber-Pool/Getty Images(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- Casey Anthony, the woman acquitted of murdering her daughter Caylee, lost an appeal Tuesday and was ordered to come out of hiding and report to a probation officer by this Friday.

Anthony, 25, could report to a probation officer any time before Friday. She's been in hiding since her release from Orange County Jail on July 17.

Her defense attorney, Jose Baez, said earlier this week that she had returned to Florida to await the fate of her probation appeal. A three-judge panel on Florida Court of Appeals settled the issue Tuesday by rejecting her appeal.

Anthony was ordered earlier this month by Judge Belvin Perry to return to Florida by Aug. 26 to serve a year's probation stemming from a check fraud conviction. Before her first-degree murder trial, Anthony pleaded guilty to stealing checks from best friend Amy Huizenga during the time that Caylee was missing.

An error was made on the written sentencing documents in that case, which allowed Anthony to serve her probation while in jail awaiting trial for murder. Judge Stan Strickland, who presided over the check fraud case, had intended for her to serve probation once she left jail.

Shortly after Judge Perry issued his order for her to report to a probation officer, Anthony's defense team filed an appeal. They claim that forcing Anthony to serve probation again is an "illegal sentence" and puts her in harm's way, especially if she must serve the probation in Florida, since she has received death threats after her acquittal.

In the written order filed by the Fifth District Court of Appeals Tuesday, the judges reprimanded Anthony and her defense team for turning the sentencing process into a "game."

"The petitioner and her lawyers were well aware that her probationary placement was not to begin until her release from confinement. The petitioner may not, under these circumstances, take advantage of the administrative error of the Department of Corrections," the order states.

Defense attorney Baez and the rest of Anthony's team have previously admitted to knowing that the judge's original intentions were for Anthony to serve probation outside of jail, but argued that the Department of Corrections allowed Anthony to serve the probation and that the jurisdictional timeframe had passed to address this issue.

The attorney general fired back, arguing that Anthony never really served probation since it was served while in jail.

"Legally, it is clear that a defendant cannot serve probation while incarcerated," Attorney General Pamela Bondi and Assistant Attorney General Wesley Heidt wrote in a response filed in the Fifth District Court of Appeals on Aug. 22.

"The court was simply attempting to ensure the previously imposed, and never served, probation was begun...upon her release, she should have reported," the response stated.

Baez is being investigated by the Florida Bar for his handling of Anthony's sentencing, ABC affiliate WFTV reported.

It's unclear if Anthony will be able to serve the probation out of state or what measures will be taken to protect her. Throughout her trial and following her acquittal, she's received death threats.

When issuing his order to report to a parole officer earlier this month, Perry alluded to her safety.

"This court is very mindful that it is a high probability that there are many that would like to see physical harm visited upon the defendant," Perry wrote in his Aug. 12 order for Anthony to return to Florida.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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