Lohan gets jail sentence for probation violation

Lindsay Lohan, left, arrives for a preliminary hearing, Friday, April 22, 2011, at LAX Courthouse in Los Angeles. Lohan is in court for a hearing on a felony grand theft charge involving a necklace reported stolen by an upscale jewelry store. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

April 22, 2011 4:57:07 PM PDT
A judge sentenced Lindsay Lohan to 120 days in jail on Friday for a probation violation after hearing evidence against the actress in a theft case.

Lohan's attorney, Shawn Holley, said she will appeal the ruling, which will allow the actress to post bail.

Sautner also ordered Lohan to serve more than 400 hours of community service, including 300 hours at a women's center.

The ruling came after Sautner reduced Lohan's grand theft case down to a misdemeanor and after prosecutors gave their case against the actress.

A judge on Friday reduced Lindsay Lohan's grand theft case down to a misdemeanor after prosecutors laid out their case against the actress over a $2,500 necklace reported stolen from a jewelry store.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sautner refused to dismiss the case against Lohan, but said she often sees more serious cases that get reduced to lesser charges. The misdemeanor has a potential penalty of a year in jail if convicted.

"I see the intent here," Sautner said. "I see a level of brazenness with `Let me see what I can get away with here."'

Sautner ruled that prosecutors had shown that Lohan violated her probation, but also said in reducing the charge that she was going to give the actress "an opportunity."

Lohan entered a not guilty plea Friday and will be back in court on May 11 for a pretrial hearing.

Sautner has not yet decided what Lohan's punishment for the probation violation will be. The actress' attorney, Shawn Holley, asked the judge review two surveillance videos before deciding on the actress' punishment. Prosecutors have not yet said what penalty they will seek.

The judge's decision to reduce the charge against Lohan came after Deputy District Attorney Danette Meyers concluded her case at a preliminary hearing against Lohan. The prosecution called four witnesses, including two police officers who handled Lohan's case.

One officer received the necklace from Lohan's assistant after detectives obtained a search warrant - which was never served - to retrieve it from Lohan's home.

The investigative detective also testified that she verified the actress wore the necklace days after it was taken and was photographed with it by paparazzi.

Holley had planned to call the actress' assistant, but opted not to have her testify.

Holley asked Sautner to dismiss the case against Lohan, saying Meyers hadn't proved Lohan intended to deprive the store of the necklace permanently.

Lohan made three visits within a week to a jewelry store that accused her of stealing the necklace but never purchased anything before leaving with the item, the shop's owner testified.

Sofia Kaman said she waited a day to report the necklace stolen because Lohan had told her she would return the next day to purchase a ring. The actress never returned. The first time Kaman saw Lohan since the Jan. 22 store visit was Friday.

Kaman says she did not have any agreement with Lohan allowing her to leave the store with the necklace.

Lohan was wearing two of her own necklaces in January when entered the store in January. Lohan wore both pieces to court on Friday, and took them off at one point while her attorney cross-examined Kaman.

Holley showed Kaman the necklaces and questioned her about why she didn't notice the actress was still wearing the store's necklace, even though Lohan's neck - and by Holley's description, cleavage - were clearly visible.

"I wasn't looking at her chest," Kaman said. "I was looking at her face."

Holley's cross-examination of Kaman was at times testy, with the judge warning both the store owner and Holley to be more respectful.

The "Mean Girls" star arrived at the courthouse wearing a black long-sleeve shirt, blue trousers and a scarf.

The store owner was also questioned about her decision to license surveillance video for sale. Kaman said she entered into an agreement with a broker who licensed the footage to a commercial images division of The Associated Press, which then licensed it to Entertainment Tonight. Kaman said she has never been paid for the deal, but also admitted she never cleared the deal with detectives investigating the case.

Lohan, 24, has been a courthouse fixture since last May when she missed a hearing in her drunken driving case. Since then, two judges have sent her to jail twice and rehab, also twice.

Kamofie reported its necklace stolen roughly three weeks after Lohan was released from treatment at the Betty Ford Center, where she also encountered trouble. A rehab worker accused Lohan of battery during an argument in which the worker told authorities Lohan had missed curfew and was caught with two other girls who admitted they had been drinking.

Prosecutors declined to file charges in that incident.

On Wednesday, Fiore Films announced it had cast the actress to play the wife of John Gotti Jr., the son of the infamous mob boss dubbed the "Teflon Don," in a biopic of the family. The project, title, "Gotti: Three Generations," is scheduled to begin shooting later this year in Lohan's native New York.

In an interview with the AP, Lohan said she was eager to put her court cases behind her and once again be known as an actress.

"I'm really excited to be back on set and clear up all the misinterpretations about me and show this is what I love to do," Lohan said.

"I think in the past, I had a lot of distractions," she said. "I've learned a lot. I've lived a lot. When I'm on set, it's about the film."