After a rollercoaster day in court, Lindsay Lohan was sentenced to four months in jail on Friday. The troubled actress, 24, was attending a hearing to decide whether she would stand trial for allegedly stealing a $2,500 necklace in January of this year. At first, things seemed to go well – the judge reduced the severity of the case from a felony grand theft charge to a misdemeanour, to which Lindsay pleaded not guilty.That means she will return for trial on June 3, and, thanks to the reduction, will now face a maximum 12 months behind bars instead of three years.
But the judge then stipulated that she had seen enough evidence during the hearing to rule that Lindsay had violated the terms of her probation from a 2007 drink driving conviction.
For that, she was sentenced to 120 days in prison – to begin immediately – plus 480 hours of community service. She will serve 360 of those at Downtown Women's Centre to understand "how truly needy women have to live", and the remaining 120 hours at the LA County Morgue "to see what happens when people drink and drive," judge Stephanie Sauntner said. Because of the reduction, Lindsay was able to post a $75,000 bail and was released within hours of arriving at Lynwood jail.
She remains free pending an appeal of the sentence which is expected to be heard in an appeals court over the coming days, although legal experts say she has a slim chance of winning.
Speaking after the ruling, a friend of Lindsay's confirmed that the actress was "fine" but "upset" about the sentence. "She is angry because she has been working so hard on turning her life around," producer Nathan Folks said. "She didn’t do what they said she did. She didn’t steal that necklace. "But Lindsay is prepared to accept the court's decision come June 3. "She is ready to do her time," he added. "She wants to go to A.A and N.A and to serve her hours (of community service). She has already been doing lots of charity work."
At the hearing, Lindsay's lawyers argued that the actress walked off with the necklace because of absentmindedness. But Judge Sautner rejected that idea. "I see her intent (to steal) and I see a level of brazenness," she said, adding that any other person would have returned the necklace immediately, rather than the 10 days it took Lindsay (pictured in a court sketch). "It was like, 'Let me see what I can get away with,'…She thumbs her nose at the court," she added.