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Lindsay Lohan rejects plea deal

By Alan Duke, CNN
Lindsay Lohan turns down a plea deal that could have resulted in more jail time.
Lindsay Lohan turns down a plea deal that could have resulted in more jail time.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Lohan lawyer: "She has a strong defense"
  • NEW: She tells the prosecutor Wednesday she is rejecting a plea deal
  • NEW: A preliminary hearing is set for April 22
  • Lohan is charged with stealing a $2,500 necklace from Kamofie & Company

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Lindsay Lohan wants a jury to decide if she's guilty of stealing a necklace from a Venice, California jewelry store, her lawyer said Wednesday.

Her lawyer informed the Los Angeles District Attorney's office Wednesday afternoon that the actress was rejecting a plea deal.

"She has a strong defense and we are confident that a jury will listen to the evidence fairly and acquit her," Shawn Chapman Holley said.

A judge gave Lohan until Wednesday to decide if she would accept a plea deal that would send her to jail for a felony grand theft charge.

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"Ms. Lohan has maintained her innocence from the moment this case was filed and she has never wavered," Holley said. "Though many advised her to follow the safe route by taking 'the deal,' the truth is, Ms. Lohan is innocent."

A preliminary hearing is now scheduled for April 22 for a judge to hear evidence to decide if the theft case should go to trial.

The same judge will also decide if Lohan violated her probation for a 2007 drunk driving conviction by being charged with the felony.

The actress is accused of walking out of Kamofie and Company with a $2,500 necklace around her neck on January 22.

The well-publicized case took a twist this month when it was revealed that a representative of the jewelry store that accused Lohan of theft talked to a book agent about a possible book deal.

This came after the jewelry store sold the rights to the security video of Lohan in the store to a media outlet.

Steve Sadow, a criminal defense attorney who successfully defended Howard K. Stern in the Anna Nicole Smith case, said these developments could affect the case.

"The pursuit of a book deal, coupled with the sale of the surveillance video, clearly demonstrates that the owner is interested in money and publicity, and has trumped up the allegations against Ms. Lohan to further his own interests, not to seek justice," Sadow said.

The penalty for a felony grand theft conviction ranges from 16 months to three years in a California state prison. The exact term would be based on the value of the property stolen and the criminal record of the defendant.

Shoplifting offenses are charged as petty theft if the property taken is valued at less than $950. The store owner claims the "one of a kind" necklace is worth $2,500, police said.

Lohan has been in court nine times in the past 10 months, mostly for hearings related to probation violations for her drunk driving case.

She did a short stint in jail last year, but also checked into substance abuse rehab twice under court order.

CNN's Alan Duke contributed to this report.

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