Lenny Dykstra can't change plea, fight charges, judge rules
A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge has denied a last-minute request by former baseball star Lenny Dykstra to withdraw his no-contest plea to grand theft auto and fight the charges.
Dykstra had pleaded no contest in October to grand theft auto and filing a false financial statement. He was scheduled to be sentenced Monday by Judge Cynthia Ulfig, but last week filed paperwork to withdraw the plea.
Dykstra, 48, was originally charged with nearly two dozen felony counts and faced up to 12 years in state prison. But as part of a plea deal, prosecutors agreed to dismiss the remaining charges at sentencing.
In January 2011, prosecutors said that Dykstra, his accountant Robert Hymers and friend Christopher Gavanis tried to lease high-end automobiles from several area dealerships by allegedly providing fraudulent information and claiming credit through a phony business.
Dykstra's attorney, Andrew Flier, said the former New York Mets star was not involved in fraudulent activity and was "relying on paperwork and certain representations" from others.
Because the judge denied his request, the sentencing is expected to proceed. As part of the plea agreement, he faces four years in state prison.
-- Andrew Blankstein
Photo: Lenny Dykstra, shown at a hearing last year, faces sentencing after a judge denied his request to withdraw his no-contest plea to charges of grand theft auto and filing a false financial statement. Credit: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times