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Probation ending for Casey Anthony

9:37 PM, Aug 22, 2012   |    comments
Casey Anthony exits the Orange County Jail, early Sunday, July 17, 2011.
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Casey Anthony will be legally free to come and go as she pleases as of Friday - for the first time in four years.

Anthony, 26, spent three years in prison awaiting trial before being acquitted in July 2011 of murdering her 2-year-old daughter Caylee. Now she is wrapping up a year of probation for unrelated check fraud.

With her probation ending, Anthony will be allowed to leave the state of Florida; she will no longer have unannounced visits from state officials, nor will she have to report to a probation officer.

"She is completely free to go about her business and do whatever she wants to do," Anthony's lawyer, Cheney Mason, said. "She will have no further constraints by the government, but she will then have to then worry about the reality of the world."

Anthony's acquittal on the murder charge spurred outcry, Facebook hate groups and death threats from people who disagreed with the Orlando jury's verdict in the high-profile, nationally televised trial.

In 2008, Anthony had failed to report her toddler missing for a month before contacting police. She claimed Caylee was kidnapped.

Six months later, Caylee's remains were found in a wooded area near the Anthony family home.

Before the murder trial, Anthony plead guilty in 2010 to stealing checks from her best friend, Amy Huizenga, - while Caylee was missing.

The Florida Department of Corrections is not releasing information about the end of Anthony's probation because of security concerns.

" It's not the norm" to withhold such information, said Ann Howard, department spokeswoman. "But it's what we are doing in this " case.

Anthony's next steps are uncertain, Mason said.

"Of course that information will have to be protected with utmost confidentiality because of the crazies that are out there," Mason said.

Mason says over the past year that Anthony has been watching TV, exercising, doing housekeeping and working a clerical job.

"It's a whole lot different than being in an 8-by-10 isolation cell, but she is still in a cell of a different description," Mason said. "Common sense and safety have restricted her."

Publicly, Anthony surfaced in a leaked video diary clip and on CNN in a phone interview with talk-show host Piers Morgan.

She still faces a lawsuit from a woman named Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez who claims Anthony ruined her reputation when she told Orange County investigators that a nanny by the same name stole Caylee.

"She is reviled by some as the most hated woman in America," said Charles Greene, another Anthony lawyer. "We have received death threats about her."

Greene says he gets calls from people who are consumed with love -or hate - for Anthony.

"There are those that hate her with an obsession, and there are those who love her with an obsession, and that's scary," Greene said. "Some of those happened to be crazy enough to try to hurt her."

By Natalie DiBlasio, USA TODAY

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