TAMPA, Florida - The judge who handled the Debra LaFave case from start to finish is now speaking out after a higher court reinstated LaFave's probation.
Last September, Judge Wayne Timmerman, who is now retired, released LaFave from her probation early. She had four years and two months to go. Judge Timmerman said his decision was based on several things, including the fact that she had done everything the court ordered her to do.
On Wednesday, the Second District Court of Appeal overruled that decision.
Read the court's ruling (PDF)
"I'm not surprised. Nothing surprises me anymore. I still think I was correct. They think I'm incorrect. They trump me," said Judge Timmerman.
Prosecutors argued a 2005 plea agreement LeFave signed included a deal that she would not end probation early.
LaFave, a middle school teacher at the time, pleaded guilty to having sex with a 14-year-old boy. She did not receive jail time.
Assistant State Attorney Michael Sinacore said the order from the higher court was an important one.
"This order makes it clear that the state is allowed to enter into a plea agreement that requires no early termination or probation. And the other issue is that if the court accepts that plea agreement, the court is obligated to honor that plea agreement," said Sinacore.
LaFave's attorney, John Fitzgibbons, issued this statement:
"This case is not over. The Court of Appeals in this major decision reinstated Debbie's probation, but then took the extraordinary step of certifying the legal issue to be a question of great public importance, which gives the Florida Supreme Court the ability if it wants to hear Debbie's case. I will be meeting with Debbie and her family in the next few days to determine how we will be proceeding."
Fitzgibbons has 15 days to appeal the decision. Depending on what happens, LaFave could go before a judge in a hearing to have her probation reinstated.