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Noelle Bush released from jail

'We love her unconditionally,' says brother

Noelle and George P. Bush
Noelle Bush appears in court with her brother, George P. Bush.  

ORLANDO, Florida (CNN) -- Noelle Bush, daughter of Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, was released from jail Friday and sent back to a drug rehab center, following a brief incarceration for violating the terms of her court-ordered drug treatment.

The 24-year-old niece of President Bush appeared before Circuit Judge Reginald Whitehead, who told her he hoped she had "learned something" from her jail stay, which began Wednesday.

"It was meant for a purpose: to give you some time to think and reflect on some of the decisions you've been making," the judge said. "The sanction punishes you, too, but it also directs you on the right path to make sure you're going in the right direction."


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Whitehead had sent Bush to the Orange County jail Wednesday after officials at the Center for Drug-Free Living, where she has returned, said she took prescription pills from a nurse's office last week. She was released from the jail early Friday morning.

Asked if she had any questions, Bush told Whitehead, "Not at this time. I don't."

She then kissed her brother, George P. Bush, 26, and the two left the courtroom. Her next court hearing is scheduled for August 2.

Bush was arrested in January when authorities said she attempted to use a fake prescription for the anti-anxiety drug Xanax.

Her brother said he was in court to show Noelle that the family supports her. "But, as my father mentioned a few days ago, she's an adult and she definitely is learning her lesson," he said.

"We basically have shown tough love, that basically there are consequences for your actions, that she is going to receive equal treatment under the law and that if she continues down a certain path then there are going to be certain ramifications," he added.

His sister, George P. Bush said, is remorseful and recognizes she made a big mistake. "She recognizes that the rest of the family is disappointed, but we love her unconditionally."

Drug prescription fraud is a felony punishable by a prison term of five years and a $5,000 fine.

Noelle Bush had faced the possibility Whitehead would throw her out of the program and force her to face the original charges.

If Bush completes the treatment program, she will avoid jail time and the charges against her will be wiped out.




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