03/15/2004 at 12:00 AM EST
Lawyers for Diana Ross insist that the Supreme diva has already met her requirement to spend 24 consecutive hours in jail on a drunken-driving charge, and therefore she should not be forced to return to Arizona to re-serve the sentence.
"I think we have proof," one of Ross's Tucson lawyers, Jim Nesci, tells the Associated Press. "She documented it in her diary."
As reported last week, the Arizona judge who sentenced the 59-year-old Ross to 48 hours behind bars for driving under the influence isn't happy with how his order was carried out -- and now he wants her to go back to jail.
Rather than serving her sentence in Arizona, Ross, 59, arranged for her jail time to be in Greenwich, Conn., where she lives.
But after looking into her incarceration, Tucson City Court Magistrate T. Jay Cranshaw discovered that in true star fashion, Ross left and returned to the Greenwich jail a number of times over three days, the Arizona Daily Star newspaper reported.
Under Arizona law, such an open-door policy does not constitute jail time, as DUI defendants have to spend at least 24 consecutive hours in custody.
In seeking an accounting of how Ross served her time, Cranshaw reportedly was informed that her first and longest stretch came on Monday, Feb. 9, when she checked into the Greenwich Police Department at 5:30 p.m. and remained until about 4 p.m. the next day -- a 22-2/3-hour visit by the Daily Star's tally.
She then returned Tuesday at about 6 p.m. and left again at 8:30 p.m., this time a 2-2/3-hour stretch, which was followed up the next day, Wednesday, Feb. 11, at 8 a.m., at which time she stayed put for 22 hours -- until 6 a.m. Thursday.
But Nesci claims that the Greenwich police just didn't count the hours properly, says AP. The lawyer added that he might interview the female officer who sat in with Ross during her final stretch.