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

April 22, 2011 |  7:22 am

Lindsay Lohan, escorted by Los Angeles County Sherriff deputies, arrives for a preliminary hearing at Airport Courthouse on Feb. 23, 2011 in Los Angeles.

Lindsay Lohan is expected back in court Friday in her jewelry-theft case, and could face an employee of  the store accusing her of the theft.

Lohan faces grand-theft charges for allegedly stealing a necklace at a Venice store in January.

The actress has been adamantly opposed to a plea deal offered by a prior judge that would have seen her sentenced to no more than 90 days in jail.

"Ms. Lohan has maintained her innocence from the moment this case was filed, and she has never wavered," her attorney, Shawn Holley, said recently. "Though many advised her to follow the safe route by taking 'the deal,' the truth is, Ms. Lohan is innocent; she has a strong defense, and we are confident that a jury will listen to the evidence fairly and acquit her."

Prosecutor Danette Meyers, whose running for district attorney, is expected to call police detectives and at least one representative of the store during Friday's hearing, which is slated to last a day.

But underscoring the sometimes uncomfortable nexus between Hollywood's celebrity culture and L.A's judicial system, the jewelry store that reported the alleged theft to the Los Angeles Police Department sold surveillance video showing Lohan with the necklace to the media.

Holley is expected to try to exploit that act to charge that the spotlight and money motivated the crime report. Video from the store shows Lohan and a friend inside Kamofie & Company. On the video, the actress first tries on several other pieces of jewelry before putting on the $2,500 necklace.

She then talks to an employee about the necklace and seems in no hurry. After about 25 minutes, Lohan leaves the store with the necklace still around her neck. Sources told The Times that the tape is a key piece of evidence -- but not the only one. Paparazzi photos taken days later also show the actress wearing the necklace.


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-- Richard Winton

Photo: Actress Lindsay Lohan, escorted by Los Angeles County Sherriff deputies, arrives for a preliminary hearing at Airport Courthouse Wednesday in Los Angeles. Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images