March 30, 2011 / 1:27 AM / 8 years ago

Lindsay Lohan avoids criminal charge in Betty Ford quarrel

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Prosecutors on Tuesday decided against filing a battery charge against Lindsay Lohan that might have sent the troubled actress to jail over a confrontation at California’s Betty Ford Center rehab clinic.

Actress Lindsay Lohan (L), with her attorney Shawn Chapman Holley, appears in Airport Courthouse in Los Angeles March 10, 2011. REUTERS/David McNew/Pool

The District Attorney’s office in Riverside County, east of Los Angeles, has determined there is insufficient evidence to charge Lohan with a crime, said John Hall, a spokesman for the office.

The “Mean Girls” star is on probation for a 2007 drunk driving and cocaine possession conviction, and a new criminal complaint could have violated her probation, putting her back behind bars.

Lohan, however, remains in legal trouble. The 24-year-old faces a separate charge that she stole a necklace from a Los Angeles jewelry store in January. Lohan has pleaded not guilty, and a preliminary hearing is set for April 22.

A conviction would send her back to jail where she spent around two weeks behind bars for probation violation.

In December when Lohan was staying at the Betty Ford Center in southern California, police were called to the facility and conducted a misdemeanor battery investigation involving Lohan and a Betty Ford Center staff member named Dawn Holland.

Holland initially said Lohan pushed her and snatched a telephone from her hand. But Holland later told investigators she would no longer cooperate and did not want charges filed.

“Our standard is that if we file charges, we believe that we can produce enough evidence to convict someone beyond a reasonable doubt and that was not the case here,” Hall said.

Hall said he could not be specific about the findings of his office’s review of the case.

Lohan left the Betty Ford Center in January, after checking into the facility in October for failing a random drug test required by her probation for the 2007 drunk conviction.

Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Bob Tourtellotte

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