Sale of video in Lindsay Lohan jewelry-theft case could hurt prosecution

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LOS ANGELES — The prosecution of actress Lindsay Lohan, accused of stealing a necklace from a Venice, Calif.,
jewelry store, took another bizarre twist when surveillance video of
the actress in the store was sold and “Entertainment Tonight” posted
images on its website.

The development is a potential headache for
prosecutors because the video is crucial evidence against the actress.
Sources close to the case said the development could bolster claims by
Lohan’s defense attorneys that the store wanted to make money by
accusing Lohan of stealing the necklace.

“There has been a tremendous amount of media speculation about an incident which took place on January 22, 2011, at a Venice, California, jewelry store named Kamofie and Company,”
said a message placed on the website that plans to stream the video.
“Many individuals want to be able to see the video streams from the
jewelry store’s surveillance cameras, and we have obtained the
exclusive license for them. The tapes speak for themselves.”

Still images of the video on the “Entertainment
Tonight” website show Lohan in the store but do not show her stealing
the necklace.

Lohan has been charged with stealing a $2,500
necklace from the store. The felony grand theft case is by far the most
serious in a string of charges she’s faced. A conviction could bring
her significant jail time. She has pleaded not guilty.

Law enforcement sources told the Los Angeles Times
that the case against Lohan includes the store surveillance video
showing the actress wearing the necklace. Paparazzi photos taken days
later also show the actress wearing the necklace. The case file also
includes statements from people who were inside the store at the same
time as Lohan, said the sources, who spoke on the condition that they
not be named because the case is ongoing.

Lohan has been in and out of court and rehab over the last two years. She spent three months at a rehab center in Rancho Mirage under orders from Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Elden S. Fox,
who spared the actress jail time in October after Lohan had tested
positive for drugs while on probation in a DUI case. If she is
convicted in the necklace theft, she could serve jail time for that
crime and also be eligible for additional detention for violating her
probation.

Riverside County
prosecutors said they are still considering whether to file charges
against Lohan for allegedly shoving an employee at the Betty Ford
Center last year. The rehab center employee reported that Lohan had
assaulted her but has since said she does not want to press charges.

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(c) 2011, Los Angeles Times.

Visit the Los Angeles Times on the Internet at http://www.latimes.com/

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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