ORLANDO, Fla. (WWJ/AP) – Casey Anthony will be sentenced Thursday after her conviction on four counts of lying to police in the case that saw her acquitted of her daughter’s death. She could get one year in prison for each of the four misdemeanors of which she was convicted Tuesday.
Anthony’s attorney, Jose Baez, told ABC News he would argue Thursday that Anthony should be sentenced to time served and released – she’s been behind bars for nearly three years.
Wayne State University law professor Peter Henning doesn’t think the judge will give Anthony the four-year maximum, but expects she’ll spend some extra time behind bars.
“The fact that her lawyer essentially admitted that she was a liar and that hampered the investigation, I would expect that will cause the judge to react quite negatively but I would be surprised if we saw the full four-year sentence imposed,” Henning said.
“To send the message that her obstruction in the investigation made it much more difficult to figure out what actually happened here. I would expect that’s a message that he wants to send out. The lying to the officers had a significant impact on this case.”
Authorities in Florida are being mostly quiet about what might take place should Anthony be released for time served. There are obvious complications with her returning to her parents’ home, where she lived before she was jailed, given the stinging accusations her attorneys leveled against them during the trial.
“I would expect that she would also get a term of probation added on to any sentence that is imposed and so arrangements would have to be made for her to have living accommodations, report to a probation officer and look for a job,” Henning said. “The state doesn’t have to provide housing for her but certainly that is going to be a concern. You don’t just want to hand her a bag and let her out the gate and say here you go.”
What could the future hold for Anthony when she gets out of jail, perhaps as early as Thursday? She may have to get out-of-town.
Threats have been made against her, and online she is being vilified. More than 17,000 people “liked” the “I hate Casey Anthony” page on Facebook, which included comments wishing her the same fate that befell little Caylee. Ti McCleod, who lives a few doors from Anthony’s parents, said: “Society is a danger to Casey; she’s not a danger to society.”
Her family has been fractured by her attorneys’ unproved claims that Anthony’s father and brother molested her and the contention that her father participated in a cover-up of Caylee’s death. On Tuesday, Anthony’s parents rose from their seats without emotion upon hearing the verdict and left the courtroom ahead of everyone else. Their attorney, Mark Lippman, said they haven’t spoken with their daughter since the verdict, and he wouldn’t say whether they believed she was guilty.
Anthony is a high school dropout who, before her arrest at 22, had limited work experience. Her last job was in 2006 as a vendor at Universal Studios theme park. While she once professed an interest in photography, and even found some work in the field, it’s not known whether she has skills that could translate into a career.
In a 2010 jailhouse letter to a friend, Anthony said she would like to adopt a child from Ireland “accent and all.”
Prosecutors claimed Anthony suffocated Caylee with duct tape because she wanted to be free to party and be with her boyfriends. Defense attorneys argued that the little girl accidentally drowned in the family swimming pool and Anthony panicked and hid the body because of the effects of being sexually abused by her father.
Stay tuned to WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBSDetroit.com for sentencing results.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.