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Reduced charge in Lindsay Lohan theft case brings criticism from prosecutors

Actress Lindsay Lohan arrives in court. There remains much debate over a judge's decision to reduce the charge against Lindsay Lohan, accused of stealing a necklace from a Venice jewelry store, from a felony to a misdemeanor.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sautner reduce the charge Friday, a move that could significantly reduce the amount of time Lohan could spend behind bars if convicted. The judge said she thought the reduction was justified and that it occurs all the time in less high-profile cases.

But Los Angeles County prosecutors said they were considering appealing the judge's decision.

"The judge abused her discretion in this case," prosecutor Danette Meyers said. "It was a felony filing because the defendant was on probation.... She has violated on numerous occasions ... the evidence was incredibly strong.

While Lohan's attorney said the star didn't intend to steal the necklace, Meyers disagreed, saying: "This is garden-variety theft."

The judge ruled that Lohan violated her probation by taking a necklace at a Venice jewelry store and sentenced her to 120 days in jail.

Lohan also was ordered to perform 480 hours of community service at a downtown women's center and the Los Angeles County morgue.

She faces trial in the coming months.


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

Photo: Actress Lindsay Lohan arrives in court. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (82)

Another example of poor reporting, the reporter should have determined whether the court ever made a finding about the amount of the necklace in question? Under one thousand dollars? then its a misdemeanor. Over 1K, then its felony. This charge is a "wobbler" meaning it can be filed as either a misdemeanor or a felony

A separate question, is after concluding it was a felony, did the court exercise its discretion under Penal Code 17 (b), to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor?

As for the judge, she is right this happens in many other cases and the hypocrite prosecutors dont say a word about it. Remember, most prosecutors are politically minded with their eyes on running for DA, judge or only god knows what other power hungry position.

I am guilty of going through all this LiLo stuff and giving her the benefit of the doubt just about every time. Perhaps the reason is because I read such vehement comments in these comment sections, and I do not believe the people who make such comments have the right to make them. It seems they are just bitter people with unhappy lives... and all I can say is WOW if the people who comment "treat her like I would be treated" actually are in a place to say that... I mean, who plans to have two DUI's, parole violation after violation, and then go steal some jewelry. Surely there is not a world of people out there who really think they could end up in LiLo's place and end up in jail.

I am not giving LiLo the benefit of the doubt on this necklace theft. It is stupid to say she got distracted on her cell phone, etc. A smart thief would distract the store people with the use of that cell phone so she could get out the door with the jewelry. It took a while to get O.J. It may take a while to get Lindsay, but if she keeps going down this path, she'll get "got!"

So when on probation the rules change and one is no longer inocent until proven guilty??????????? I do not understand going to jail for braking probation by stealing a necklace which the girl has yet to be tried for. So this judge sentences her for violating probation by stealing but she could be found inocent of stealing, then would she have credit for jail time served on reserve???? No wonder California is going bankrupt

Is Danette Meyers a bitter, unsuccessful actor, or is this just the usual, politician's need for publicity and attention? Yes, Lindsay Lohan's a mess and yes, the judge was right when she said that charges are reduced all the time in less high profile cases. And yes, Danette Meyers will spend our tax money trying to make a name for herself on somebody else's celebrity. Tired of Lindsay, even more tired of Danette.

How do you get found guilty of theft if you never leave the store with the item.
In Massachusetts you have to walk out of the store with the item. It doesn't matter one bit if you walk around the store all day long with the item, and head for the door, as long as you never walk out of the store.

Now am I mistaken, and Lohan actually left the store? Because I thought that the store clerk was on the news stating the stopped her before she ever left the store with the item and that he believed she was going to try to steel it.

If that's the case, then that's not theft, and Lindsay should appeal the entire case!

These prosecutors are butchers. California prisons are big business. America has more people in prison than any other country in the world. The USA is like a redo of "Les Miserable".

I'm surprised some "ordinary" person arrested for the same offenses as this bimbo has not cried discrimination. If one of us ordinary folk did one tenth the crap this spoiled brat has, we would be rotting in jail.

Get over yourself Danette. There are real criminals out there.

You're just trying to ride Lindsay's coattails. That should work out about as well for you as it did for Steve Cooley going after Roman Polanski.

We don't need ambulance chasing prosecutors. Do your effing job.

Just another Judge who thinks she is smarter than Lohan. Next!

There are two sets of laws. One for people with money & power and another for those without.

Once again the Elite are handled differently here! Even though she is starting to make a mockery of the lawes and courts no one will smack her upside the head and say enough is enough. Real justice in the courts of California!

OMG! another celeb got their felony charge reduced to a misdemeanor! What a surprise! If a certain famous football player can get away with murder, this is minor league in comparison. We really are in lala land. Isn't it wonderful!

Move along, folks. There's nothing to see here. Lindsay's above the law, she's shown that numerous times in the past. Maybe next time we'll see some saction, but not now. Move along . . . -- Yer pal, Ferrari Bubba

Where is the EDITOR?

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sautner reduce the charge Friday,

But she is such an awesome actress, what would we do without her...?

"The judge ruled that Lohan violated her probation by taking a necklace at a Venice jewelry store and sentenced her to 120 days in jail.
Lohan also was ordered to perform 480 hours of community service" --- So she has already been sentenced for taking the necklace, despite the fact that she has not been convicted, the judges declaration that she be punished, prior to a conviction indicates a judicial bias, and easily precludes anyone from that court system of now hearing the necklace theft case, otherwise sets up a very simple mistrial filing, under due process, civil rights violations and double jeopardy.

Lohan's no different from the rest of the scum that judges routinely send through a revolving door of leniency and unaccountability--why should she be treated any differently?

Corruption at all levels.

Wouldn't it be great if this type of story became another Bell-type of event? we can only dream.

I saw a photo of the necklace. I'm not a jeweler and know very little about jewelry, but the necklace looked like a toy from a Crackerjack box.

Is it worth the amount the jeweler claims?

Is the amount made up?

Would an independent appraiser declare it is worth a felony charge by the prosecutor in the case?

What a waste of public resources and court time.

[email protected]
citizen journalist

Compared to most criminals, she barely has a record. This is no big deal and was expected. The prosecutors are just trying to make names for themseleves.

At some point it does seem like there are some people who are out to proove some kind of point rather than to seek justice. To date, She is a non-violent, misdemeanour offender and these types of cases are downgraded everyday in cities not named Los Angeles. Given these comments, I couldnt imagine some of you guys actually serving on a jury! You would put her away for 15 years for maybe or maybe not stealing a necklace that may or may not even be worth what they say it is. It is a dangerous road.

Yet another example of a two tier society , any normal person would be charged with a felony and do at least a year in jail.

More chest thumping. The DA hasn't much of a case when the victims seem to have changed their story several times. Although I'm not a fan of Ms. Lohan, I am disturbed by the judges decision to put her in jail for a probation violation before she has had a trial to determine if she did anything that equates to a probation violation. What happened to "Innocent Until PROVEN Guilty)?

It's commom sense....you don't put things in your pocket when shopping. When placing things in your pocket it gives the impression of intent to steal. And in most cases, that's just what it is......intent to steal.

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