Paris Goes Directly Back to Jail

Paris Hilton ordered back to jail Friday, one day after she was reassigned to house arrest

By Sarah Hall Jun 09, 2007 12:20 AMTags

Easy come, easy go for Paris Hilton.

A day after she was "reassigned" from the Century Regional Detention Facility to house arrest due to an undisclosed medical condition, the hotel heiress was sent back to the slammer by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer, the same judge who originally sentenced her to 45 days for violating her probation on an alcohol-related driving charge.

The judge ordered that Hilton return to a county jail to serve out the remainder of her sentence, which the Los Angeles City Attorney's office pegged at 31 days. [See video of the announcement.]

After hearing the verdict, a weeping Hilton was escorted from the courtroom by a female deputy, shrieking, "It's not right! Mom!"

She was taken to the downtown Twin Towers jail for medical and psychiatric examination to determine which facility she will be held in, and will remain in a treatment center there for at least the next two days, Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore said.

Her lawyer was said to be readying an appeal in the meantime.

The 26-year-old socialite had not intended to be present in court Friday, but upon learning that she was planning on phoning in her testimony rather than putting in a personal appearance, Sauer ordered the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to send a squad car to pick her up at her Hollywood Hills home and escort her to the courthouse.

An O.J. Simpson-in-the-white-Bronco-esque scene ensued, with swarms of news helicopters trailing the police convoy as it transported Hilton to the hearing.

Hilton dressed for the occasion in a oversize gray sweatshirt and sloppy slacks, with her hair tied back in a messy ponytail and her face free of makeup.

She cried and shook visibly throughout the hearing, and turned several times to mouth, "I love you," to her parents, who were seated behind her.

Her attorney, Richard Hutton, asked the judge to order a hearing in his chambers to hear testimony about Hilton's medical condition, but Sauer did not comply with the request.

Another defense attorney argued that the court's role "is to let the Sheriff's Department run the jail."

Sauer said he had never approved Sheriff Lee Baca's decision to send Hilton home.

"I at no time condoned the actions of the sheriff and at no time told him I approved the actions," Sauer said. "At no time did I approve the defendant being released from custody to her home."

The judge also said that he had received a call from an undersheriff on Wednesday advising him that Hilton had a medical condition and that he would be given paperwork to consider in the case.

"I never received medical documents. The sheriff's office still has done nothing," he said.

Shortly thereafter, he announced: "The defendant is remanded to county jail to serve the remainder of her 45-day sentence. This order is forthwith." [See the judge's handwritten order and filings from the city attorney.]

Hilton screamed, while her mother, Kathy, collapsed into her husband Rick's arms, groaning, "Oh my God!"

The Simple Life star's reversal of fortune took place after the Los Angeles city attorney filed court documents Thursday afternoon, demanding that she be returned to the Century Regional Detention Facility to complete her sentence.

City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo praised Sauer's decision Friday.

"This decision sends the message that no individual—no matter how wealthy or powerful—is above the law. Today, justice was served," he said in a statement. 

City prosecutors had also asked that the Sheriff's Department be held in contempt of court for violating the judge's original order by allowing the heiress to leave jail and be fitted with an electronic monitoring bracelet. The judge did not address the issue during Friday's hearing.

At a press conference Friday afternoon, Baca defended his decision to reassign Hilton to house arrest,  claiming she suffered from "severe medical problems," and that her "inexplicable deterioration" during her incarceration had worried county psychiatrists.

He also said he had learned from one of Hilton's doctors that she was not taking a certain medication during her first stint at the jail and that he had no advance warning of her medical condition before she arrived at the facility.

"This lady has some severe problems," he said. 

Baca made it clear he felt that Hilton had received a harsher sentence than necessary due to her celebrity status, but said he would not try to overrule Sauer again.

"The criminal justice system should not create a football out of Ms. Hilton's status," he said.  [See video from Baca's press conference.]

There has been no word on what exactly ails Hilton. Observers in the courtroom said she looked physically ill and repeatedly wiped her nose, and a doctor was seen going to her home Thursday night.

Others have suggested it could be a psychological issue. Hilton was visited by her psychiatrist twice during her initial three-day incarceration amid reports of her constantly crying and being unable to eat. A source close to Hilton told E! Online that she suffers from claustrophobia, which may have affected her condition.

After she was reassigned to house arrest Thursday, the heiress issued a statement expressing gratitude to the Sheriff's Department and her jailers.

"I want to thank the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and staff of the Century Regional Detention Center for treating me fairly and professionally," she said. "I am going to serve the remaining 40 days of my sentence.

"I have learned a great deal from this ordeal and hope that others have learned from my mistakes."

Now she has the opportunity to learn even more.

[View our photographic timeline chronicling Paris' travails, from her original alcohol-related bust to her return trip to the pokey.]