Winona Ryder Trial Faces One-Day Delay
Day One of Winona Ryder's trial on shoplifting charges turned into yet another delay Tuesday, after Judge Elden J. Fox postponed the case for one day following a meeting in his chambers with prosecutors and Ryder's attorney, the Associated Press reports.
The jurist said that the "Girl, Interrupted" star, 30, was absent because of an unexplained but "unusual" circumstance.
"We'll be back in court tomorrow," said Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman with the District Attorney's Office.
Attorney Shepard Kopp appeared Tuesday on Ryder's behalf, according to the AP, while her lead attorney, Mark Geragos, was not present. Neither was immediately available for comment.
Ryder was arrested Dec. 12, 2001, outside the Beverly Hills Saks Fifth Avenue store after security officers reported that she tried to swipe nearly $6,000 worth of merchandise. She's facing charges of felony grand theft, burglary and vandalism. Punishment in such cases could be up to three years in prison, if convicted.
Judge Fox also postponed until Wednesday a hearing to consider the prosecutors' request to drop Ryder's felony drug charge of illegal possession of a prescription painkiller.
Last Friday, PEOPLE.com reported that prosecutors planned to ask the judge to dismiss that charge. The Los Angeles District Attorney's office said it was making the request "in the interests of justice" after the actress's lawyers presented a sworn statement from a defense witness saying she had reason to possess several tablets of the drug Oxycodone.
Ryder's defense team has insisted all along that the actress had a prescription for the painkillers. She has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.