Judge Praises Winona Ryder's Progress

12/16/2003 10:00AM

A Beverly Hills judge commended Winona Ryder on Monday for sticking to the rules of her probation in her shoplifting case, say reports.

Ryder's lawyer, Shepard Kopp, told reporters outside court that the judge plans to review the case and consider reducing her felony convictions to misdemeanors.

"This is a very positive report in regard to Miss Ryder," Beverly Hills Superior Court Judge Eldon Fox said during a brief hearing, according to Reuters.

The jurist spoke directly to the 32-year-old "Girl, Interrupted" star, who was ordered last December to complete 480 hours of community service (which she has been doing dutifully at the City of Hope Medical Center in Duarte) and attend counseling as part of her three years of probation.

"I want to compliment you on your behavior on probation," Fox told the actress, who did not speak during the hearing, except to say "Thank you."

He said her probation report had been very positive. "And there's an indication that things are going well," he said.

Fox ordered Ryder to return to court May 26 for a six-month review and said he would decide then if she needs continued probation supervision, says the Associated Press.

Ryder was convicted last November of grand theft and vandalism for walking out of the Beverly Hills branch of the Saks Fifth Avenue department store with shopping bags crammed full of $5,500 in designer tops, handbags, glittery rhinestone hair bows and socks.

The judge placed her on three years' probation and fined her $2,700. She also was ordered to pay $6,355 in restitution to the store and $1,000 in restitution to the court. She has made those payments.
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