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Reduced charge in Lindsay Lohan theft case brings criticism from prosecutors

April 25, 2011 |  7:24 am

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.


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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