Lindsay Lohan pleads not guilty to necklace theft

Wed Feb 9, 2011 5:51pm EST
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actress Lindsay Lohan pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to stealing a $2,500 necklace from a Los Angeles jewelry store.

Dressed all in white for a brief court appearance, Lohan, 24, was charged with a single count of felony grand theft. If convicted, the "Mean Girls" star could be sent to prison for up to three years, prosecutors say.

Lohan is accused of walking out of a Los Angeles jewelry store without paying for a gold designer necklace in January -- just three weeks after ending her fifth stint in drug and alcohol rehab in three years.

Lohan lawyer entered the not guilty plea for the actress in front of a packed courtroom and cameras televising the hearing.

Friends have said Lohan believed the necklace, which has been returned to police, was on loan.

Lohan, dressed in a long-sleeved white dress and looking calm, was expected to be released on bail, set at $20,000, later on Wednesday after being booked and photographed by court officials.

Wednesday's felony grand theft charge was the most serious allegation yet against the actress in more than three years of failed drug tests, brief spells in jail and missed court appearances.

"You are no different than anyone else, so please don't push your luck," judge Keith Schwartz told Lohan, saying the felony charge was different from previous charges against her because it is considered a more serious crime with greater punishment.   Continued...

<p>Actress Lindsay Lohan (L) and her attorney Shawn Chapman Holley appear in court as she pleads not guilty to a grand theft charge of stealing a $2,500 necklace from a jewelry store, in Los Angeles February 9, 2011. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>