Winona Ryder Pleads Not Guilty

06/14/2002 12:00PM

Winona Ryder pleaded not guilty to shoplifting and drug charges in a Beverly Hills courtroom Friday, reports the Associated Press. Furthermore, her attorney, Mark Geragos, announced during the arraignment -- though he did not divulge on what grounds -- that he would move to disqualify the District Attorney's office from trying the case. The "Girl, Interrupted" star, 30, said little during the hearing before Superior Court Judge Elden Fox, though, said the AP, she did softly respond when the jurist inquired if she was entering a not-guilty plea, "Yes, your honor." Her arm was in a sling from a reputed scuffle during an earlier court appearance, when a photographer allegedly bumped into her. Ryder faces counts of second-degree burglary, grand theft, vandalism and possession of a controlled substance stemming from her Dec. 12, 2001, arrest outside the Beverly Hills branch of Saks Fifth Avenue with allegedly nearly $5,000 of store merchandise on her. Geragos recently grilled a pre-trial witness in the case, a security guard from the store, and insisted that Saks targets celebrities. The guard (who said sales tags slashed from the merchandise that Ryder allegedly had removed from the store were later found in Saks) denied the lawyer's accusation. If convicted, Ryder faces a maximum of three years and eight months in state prison. She remains free on $20,000 bail.
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