Judge to Lindsay Lohan: 'You will be going to jail' if case is settled
Judge Keith Schwartz said Wednesday at Airport Courthouse that he will send actress Lindsay Lohan to jail if she accepts a deal offered by prosecutors.
Although terms of that deal were not immediately made public, Schwartz said Lohan would have to plead guilty or no contest to charges. Prosecutors have alleged that she stole a necklace from a Venice jewelry store.
"This case does involve jail time -- period," Schwartz said. "If you plead in front of me -- if this case resolves in front of me -- you are going to jail. Period. It may be an issue as to amount of time."
Schwartz said that if Lohan rejects the offer the case will be set for a preliminary hearing in front of another judge. She must decide by her next court date on March 10.
Schwartz said he plans to treat Lohan like any other "John Doe" or "Jane Doe." He did say that he suspects Lohan and her attorney, Shawn Holley, will reject the prosecution's offer.
The last time Lohan appeared before Schwartz, he had warned her not to push her luck.
"You're no different than anyone else," Schwartz said at the time. "If you violate the law, I will remand you and set no bail, and your attorney won't be successful this time."
Lohan has been charged with stealing a $2,500 necklace from a Venice jewelry store. The felony grand theft charges are by far the most serious she's faced, and if convicted, could bring her significant jail time. Lohan has pleaded not guilty.
Law enforcement sources told The Times that the case against Lohan includes store surveillance video showing the actress wearing the necklace. Paparazzi photos taken days later also show the actress wearing the necklace. The case file also includes statements from people who were inside the store at the same time as Lohan, said the sources, who spoke on the condition that they not be named because the case was ongoing.
Lohan has been in and out of court and rehab over the last two years. She spent three months at the rehab center in Rancho Mirage under orders from Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Elden S. Fox, who spared the actress jail time in October after Lohan had tested positive for drugs while on probation in a DUI case. If she is convicted in the necklace theft, she would serve jail time for that crime and also be eligible for additional detention for violating her probation.
Riverside County prosecutors said they are still considering whether to file charges against her for allegedly shoving an employee at the Betty Ford clinic last year. The employee reported that Lohan had assaulted her but has since said she does not want to press charges.
-- Richard Winton