LOS ANGELES – Lindsay Lohan returns to court Thursday morning and is not expected to accept a plea deal in a grand theft case that would return the actress to jail.
The "Mean Girls" star has pleaded not guilty to a felony grand theft that was filed after a jewelry store reported the starlet had taken $2,500 necklace without permission. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Keith L. Schwartz has said if Lohan accepts a plea agreement offered by prosecutors last month that he will send her to jail for the fourth time in as many years.
A source close to the actress told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Lohan does not intend to accept the plea offer at Thursday's hearing. The source spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of Lohan's case.
Schwartz will lay out the next steps of the case and may schedule a preliminary hearing during which prosecutors will present their evidence.
If Lohan is ordered to stand trial. Schwartz has warned the starlet that she may be sent to jail for violating her probation on a 2007 drunken driving case.
Lohan's return to court comes days after surveillance footage of her trying on necklaces at Kamofie & Co., which reported the necklace stolen on Jan. 22. It was eventually given by a Lohan associate to detectives, who had already obtained a search warrant for the actress' Venice home.
"Entertainment Tonight" aired the footage, which showed Lohan texting, pacing and talking to a store clerk for nearly 45 minutes. The actress wore the necklace she is accused of stealing for roughly 25 minutes, according to the show, before the clerk escorted Lohan out, smiled and held a door open as she walked out.
The footage was obtained by a commercial images division of the AP and licensed exclusively to "Entertainment Tonight."
The source told the AP that Lohan's defense team thinks the video's release and its sale will benefit the actress' defense.
Lohan's court troubles have long overshadowed her once-promising acting career. A former star in Disney films such as "Freaky Friday" and "Herbie Fully Loaded," her career has been stalled since she was arrested twice in 2007 and later charged with drunken driving and drug possession.
In the past 10 months, Lohan has been jailed twice and sent to rehab twice for probation violations. A judge ordered her to undergo three months of treatment at the Betty Ford Center, and it was within three weeks of her release that she was accused of stealing the necklace.
While the theft case has caused more uncertainty for Lohan, 24, the incident may go on to benefit others.
The owners of Kamofie & Co. announced Wednesday that they will auction the necklace and donate the proceeds to an unspecified charity after the theft case is resolved. The item remains in the custody of authorities.
"We have already publicly released the videotape which speaks for itself and accurately records the incident, and we believe the next step toward achieving closure is to donate the now-famous jewelry to charity," store owners Sofia and Geoff Kaman said in a statement released Wednesday morning.
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