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Lindsay Lohan theft case is reduced to a misdemeanor

April 22, 2011 |  2:43 pm

Linds In a legal victory for Lindsay Lohan, a judge Friday reduced the charge the actress faces for allegedly stealing a necklace from a felony to a misdemeanor.

The change greatly reduces the amount of jail time the star could face if convicted. It also opens the door to possible settlement talks.

Prosecutor Danette Meyers said she will seek to overturn Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sautner's decision, which would limit how long Lohan could serve in jail to no more than one year.

The owner of a Venice jewelry store testified Friday that 10 minutes after she closed her store Jan. 22, she noticed that Lohan had left with a pricey necklace.

Sofia Kaman testified that Lohan had tried on the necklace and not removed it despite not paying for it nor working out a deal to borrow it.

Lohan faced a grand theft charge in connection with the missing necklace.

Her blond hair up in a bun and her diamond earrings and diamond ring shimmering against her black shirt, Lohan was a lively advisor Friday to her attorney, Shawn Holley, at the Airport Courthouse.

Kaman said she would have stopped Lohan if she had seen the necklace. "Absolutely," she replied when asked the question.

Kaman testified that Lohan put her own necklace over the store's necklace. The store owner said she reported the alleged crime to police the next day after watching a security camera tape.

She said the necklace was acquired for $850 and sold for three times that amount, a standard industry practice. Her statement was elicited by the prosecutor in an attempt to undercut efforts by Lohan's attorney to drop the necklace's value to less than $950, making the alleged crime a misdemeanor.

Kaman said the jewelry store was under constant harassment by the media for licensing the security video, which she said was done under a lawyer's advice to get out a "non-altered and authentic" version of the video.

She said a licensing advisor sought to air it on pay-per-view, which she opposed. Kaman said the store has not received any money from the video licensing.

Later, Holley asked Kaman whether Lohan was wearing an "extremely low-cut top" with her "cleavage exposed" and her neck visible, and Kaman agreed the actress' neck and cleavage were visible.

Kaman also said that after Lohan put on the necklace, the actress looked at it several times in the mirror over about a half-hour period before leaving.

Kaman acknowledged she initially thought Lohan had put the necklace in her handbag, based on an early look at the security camera video, but that she later saw from the video that the actress had it around her neck when she walked out.

Earlier, a worker at the Kamofie and Co. store testified that four days before a necklace went missing, Lohan had almost walked out of the shop with a diamond earring in her ear.

Tinelli Comsooksri testified that Lohan tried on a pair of earrings Jan. 18 and put one down but left one in her ear.

As Lohan was leaving, the store employee testified, "I reminded her she had one earring in." Comsooksri said Lohan replied that "she was sorry."

The sales assistant said she emailed her bosses after the incident to inform them about what happened.

RELATED:

Shop owner testifies she noticed necklace was missing 10 minutes after closing

Lohan almost left jewelry store with diamond earring, saleswoman testifies

Lohan could face employee of jewelry store accusing her of necklace theft

-- Richard Winton at Los Angeles County Superior Court

Photo: Lindsay Lohan, left, arrives with her lawyer, Shawn Holley, for a preliminary hearing, Friday at the Airport Courthouse. Credit: Chris Pizzello / Associated Press

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