• Casey Anthony Judge Stan Strickland to resign

    Updated:

    ORLANDO, Fla.,None - Only WFTV has found out that the judge who first oversaw Casey Anthony's murder trial is leaving the bench altogether.

    Circuit Judge Stan Strickland is also the same judge who sentenced Casey to jail time and probation for her check fraud charges.

    Why is Strickland stepping down? In a word, he said he's "weary."

    Strickland is leaving the bench a year early after serving 16 years. He sent his resignation letter to the governor effective Dec. 31.

    The letter didn't state why Strickland was stepping down. But his counselor, attorney Bill Sheaffer, who is our legal analyst, said the judge has had enough.

    "He's had a long, distinguished service and he's just really weary now," Sheaffer said. "His wife has a new business so he's focusing on the family and the family business."

    There are also indications that accusations against Strickland made in court by Casey Anthony's defense team could be resurfacing.

    Strickland recused himself from Casey Anthony's murder and check fraud cases after her lawyers accused him of befriending a blogger, and of disparaging the jury that acquitted her of murdering her daughter Caylee on Nancy Grace's show.

    "You learn to live with surprises. I've just never seen one like this and the magnitude of it surprises me. I guess I'm just shocked. We opened up a big can of justice, didn't we?" Strickland said on Grace's show.

    After making that comment, he corrected his sentencing order for Casey's check fraud convictions and forced her to serve one year probation even though she was freed after her murder acquittal.

    Now, there's talk that his appearance on Grace's show has led to a Judicial Qualifications Committee complaint against the judge.

    "We are certainly prepared that should they want to press that point, we are going to defend his right to make the comments he's made vigorously," Sheaffer said.

    We checked with the Judicial Qualifications Committee and so far, there's no record of a complaint.

    But a complaint would not become public unless the Judicial Qualifications Committee finds probable cause to believe Strickland broke the rules.


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