It's called the 33-day rule. It's meant to prevent defendants who simply can't post bail from being held behind bars indefinitely. In the case of Casey Anthony, it means if the state attorney doesn't file child neglect and interfering with an investigation charges in the next 17 days, she'll be released on her own recognizance.
No supervision, no monitoring. But as criminal attorney Elizabeth Mnayarji explains, it doesn't mean she no longer faces those charges. "It simply means she's out of jail ... the charges are still pending."
The Orange County Sheriff's Office arrested 22-year-old Casey Anthony on July 16th. That means, if the state has filed by August 17th, she could be released. But the state actually has 175 days from the day of arrest to get the case to a speedy trial, unless Anthony waived her right to a speedy trial. And, of course, if they found new evidence, the Sheriff's Office could re-arrest her on different charges.
We also asked Mnayarji about all the circumstantial evidence obtained in this case. Investigators have said though this is still considered a missing person investigation at this point, it could turn into a homicide investigation. As an attorney, Mnayarji did not wish to comment specific to the Anthony case, but did talk about DNA evidence in general. "It can be strong evidence, depending on what specifically it is."
Investigators said they are still awaiting results from their tests of evidence gathered, in particular a stain found in the trunk of Casey's car and hair found there as well. The state attorney's office is awaiting the final report so to speak on the case that investigators will send them, and then they'll decide if they will press charges.
Meanwhile, Anthony has continued to communicate by phone with her family despite the release of tapes of their conversations by authorities, but their recent conversations have stuck to everyday topics.
Orange County sheriffs have made a number of Anthony's exchanges from prison public during the ongoing search for her 2-year-old daughter Caylee Marie Anthony.
Much of the recent conversations involve small talk, with Casey Anthony asking how her family is doing. In the Wednesday conversation, her brother also asked if "anything has changed" and "whom I can trust and all those things."
It isn't clear what he was referring to. A transcript of the phone call produced by MyFOXOrlando.com quoted Casey Anthony as responding, "I don't really know. I'm not level."
A closer listen to the actual tape, however, suggests she actually said, "I don't really know on that level."
On Wednesday, a judge denied a petition to lower Casey's $500,000 bond. Her attorney, Jose Baez, will file another appeal to the state Supreme Court, according to MyFOXOrlando.com.
Anthony is a person of interest in her daughter's disappearance but has been charged only with child neglect, false statements to police and obstructing an investigation.
When Anthony and her family first reported Caylee missing on July 15, she told police the girl already had been gone for a month. She also claimed that Caylee had been taken by a baby sitter, who also vanished.
Since that time, police have expressed doubt in many of the details of Anthony’s story. They also have testified that they found hair samples and detected an odor of human decomposition in the trunk of a car Anthony had been driving.
The case has grabbed national headlines, making the cover of the latest issue of People magazine, which hit newsstands on Thursday.