Toby Canham/Getty Images
Toby Canham/Getty Images
Things are looking uppish for Lindsay Lohan.
The starlet is no longer facing a felony theft charge for allegedly swiping a $2,500 necklace from a Venice jewelry shop.
Oh, but there will be a trial...
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sautner refused to dismiss the case against Lohan, but she did knock the charge down to a misdemeanor, which still carries the possibility of a maximum year-long stay in county jail, but... A misdemeanor is always better than a felony.
"If in fact it was an accident," Sautner said, referring to the defense's argument that Lohan walked out of the store unawares, "she had the phone number and she could have brought it back...There has been testimony [that] five days later she was blocks away [from the store]."
"I see brazenness here," the judge added. "On one hand, I think Ms. Lohan has earned her right for a felony...She has thumbed her nose at the court, she has walked into the court with FU on her fingernails."
But, Sautner said, "I'm going to give her an opportunity."
The jeans-clad Lohan looked nervous as Sautner pointed out her shortcomings, but ultimately the charge was reduced. (Which calls into question whether the case is now one for the L.A. City Attorney's Office instead of the District Attorney's Office, but we'll get back to you on that.)
After defense attorney Shawn Holley said that Lohan would continue to plead not guilty to any theft charge, Sautner set a pretrial hearing for May 11, with a trial to follow on June 3.
Lohan is required to appear in person, Sautner stated.
Holley had moved for a complete dismissal, but Deputy D.A. Danette Meyers argued that Lohan had been on formal probation when she left the Betty Ford Center in January and had 30 days to stay out of trouble.
"And did she do that? No," Meyers said.
"It is undisputed she walked out the store with the necklace," Holley stated on Lohan's behalf, "but what also has to be shown is that she had the intent to permanently deprive the store of the necklace."
Lohan "is photographed everywhere she goes," Holley argued. "She would have to be extremely stupid" to think she could get away with stealing something and then parading around in it, not to mention then hand it over to the LAPD.
"It shows someone who is not trying to hide or conceal something," Holley asserted.
Meyers called four witnesses to the stand today, including two police officers who investigated the allegations; Sofie Kaman, the coowner of Kamofie & Co., the store where Lohan supposedly browsed but did not buy; and sales associate Tinelli Comsooksri.
"We can get into intent," Meyers said in court. "We do that in every case...She walks out of the store. She never comes back. She has the owner's card. She never calls them. She looks well-groomed. She must have looked in the mirror...She knows she has [the necklace] on. Never once does she go back in the store."
"It doesn't take a rocket scientist [to know] that she saw it on the Internet," Meyers added. "She knew she was in trouble when she brought the necklace back."
Still to come, whether or not Lohan has to check into jail tonight for violating probation.