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Judge: Suspect in Lohan burglary not coerced

- Associated Press - Friday, June 10, 2011

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A judge on Friday rejected a motion by a woman charged with burglarizing Lindsay Lohan's house that her statement to police was coerced and should be thrown out.

Howard Levy, an attorney for Diana Tamayo, has argued at several hearings that police should have given his client a Miranda warning that she had a right to remain silent, despite Levy's presence for the videotaped interview days after her arrest in October 2009.

Superior Court Judge Larry Fidler disagreed and also rejected Levy's claims that Tamayo admitted a role in the break-in at Lohan's house because she and her family were threatened with deportation.

Detectives denied the accusation and the judge said it did not seem credible, given the demeanor of Tamayo and Levy during the interview.

Tamayo, 21, is one of five people facing felony residential burglary charges for a series of burglaries at celebrities' homes, including Lohan, Paris Hilton and Orlando Bloom. The stars lost an estimated $2 million in jewelry, high-end clothes, art and other items, much of which has never been recovered.

All have pleaded not guilty and are due back in court on Aug. 5 for a pretrial hearing. An attorney for one of the group's alleged masterminds, Rachel Lee, said he would ask a judge to order a separate trial if a plea agreement couldn't be reached.

Tamayo's interview came after her then-attorney worked out a deal between police and immigration authorities to have her released. Los Angeles police officer Brett Goodkin testified at a hearing held last year that Levy had promised she would speak to detectives about the burglaries.

The officer said Tamayo reneged after being taken to a Hollywood police station, but opted to talk after Goodkin said she would be returned to an immigration lockup.

After admitting her role in the Lohan burglary, police re-booked her and she was released on bail.

Levy declined to comment on the ruling.

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