Actress Winona Ryder charged with four felonies

Saturday, February 2, 2002

LOS ANGELES -- Winona Ryder was charged Friday with four felony counts stemming from her shoplifting arrest at a Saks Fifth Avenue store in December.

The Oscar-nominated actress was charged with theft, burglary, vandalism and possession of a controlled substance. Although she is free on $20,000 bond, prosecutors recommended raising the bail to $30,000.

She is scheduled to be arraigned in Beverly Hills on Feb. 8.

The maximum combined sentence is three years, eight months in prison, but a judge could impose a lesser term, including probation, said Sandi Gibbons, district attorney's spokeswoman.

The 30-year-old actress was arrested Dec. 12 for stealing merchandise worth $4,760 and possessing painkillers without a prescription.

Ryder's attorney, Mark Geragos, contended after the arrest that the actress was merely carrying items between store departments, not trying to steal them. He said she had receipts for other items she bought in the store, and a valid prescription for the painkillers.

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