- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 11, 2011

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A lawyer entered a no contest plea Wednesday for Lindsay Lohan in the theft of a necklace, setting the stage for a summer of confinement, counseling and community service.

Defense attorney Shawn Holley made the plea for the actress, who did not appear in court in the misdemeanor case involving a $2,500 necklace taken from an upscale shop in the Venice area of Los Angeles.

Lohan, 24, did not acknowledge guilt through the plea, but the court will log the case as a conviction.

Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sautner ordered Lohan to serve a 120-day jail sentence and remain on probation in a 2007 drunken driving case while she completes 480 hours of community service and undergoes psychological counseling.

The judge ordered the additional counseling after reviewing a probation report that detailed a series of relapses by Lohan, including a positive test for alcohol in February, a little more month after she was released from rehab.

The report, prepared in February, also said authorities found evidence the actress had been drinking while receiving treatment at the Betty Ford Center.

Lohan had been sent to Betty Ford for three months of treatment last year after failing a drug screen. The report indicated she had tested positive for cocaine and amphetamines during the court-mandated drug test in September.

A rehab worker at the center accused Lohan of pushing her during a confrontation over curfew in December. Lohan was not charged in the case, but police investigated claims she and some companions from rehab were drinking.

“The police report also noted that interviews with restaurant employees, hotel employees, and nightclub employees support the statements that (Lohan) drank alcohol on the night of the disturbance,” the probation report states.

Holley did not return an email message seeking comment on the probation report.

A probation officer stated in the report that despite the relapses, Lohan appeared to be making progress with her treatment and should receive continued substance abuse counseling.

Sautner disagreed with the recommendation Wednesday, saying she didn’t think Lohan had a substance abuse problem.

“She has other problems, which she self-medicates,” the judge said.

In addition to counseling, community service and jail sentence, Lohan will have to complete an anti-shoplifting class.

The “Mean Girls” star was expected to serve only a fraction of the jail time due to jail overcrowding. She might be eligible for house arrest, but that decision won’t be made until Lohan reports for jail on or before June 17.

If she is given house arrest, the judge said she cannot work on her community service at the same time.

“She is neither requesting nor receiving special treatment,” Holley said after the hearing.

Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore agreed, saying Lohan has been treated the same as other nonviolent offenders.

The “Mean Girls” star has been cast to play the wife of John Gotti Jr. in a biopic of the infamous mob family titled “Gotti: Three Generations.” The film is scheduled to film later this year in New York, and several factors could keep Lohan’s case from interfering with work on the film.

Last month, Sautner reduced Lohan’s charge from a felony to misdemeanor. Misdemeanor defendants in criminal matters can generally have their attorneys handle all aspects of their case without appearing in court.

Lohan’s lack of a serious criminal record, and the misdemeanor status of her other cases, have resulted in three jails stints that ranged from 84 minutes to a few hours.

Her longest stay was 14 days after another judge sentenced her to three months in jail. The reduced time behind bars was due to jail overcrowding and state-mandated credits for time-served.

Lohan was released after a few hours on April 22 because her attorney indicated she would appeal the four-month jail sentence for her probation violation. She dropped the appeal as part of Wednesday’s plea.

The theft of the necklace came roughly three weeks after Lohan was released from a three-month stint in court-ordered rehab, and while she was still on probation for the drunken driving case.

Despite living nearby, authorities said Lohan never tried to return the necklace until it was reported stolen and police obtained a search warrant. Her assistant delivered the necklace to detectives before the warrant could be served.

Judges last year sent Lohan to jail twice and rehab twice and have repeatedly proclaimed her chances for leniency were over.


Anthony McCartney can be reached at https://twitter.com/celebritydocket

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