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Lohan pleads not guilty to felony theft charge

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Actress Lindsay Lohan, center, arrives at the LAX Airport Courthouse in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011, to be arraigned on a felony grand theft charge that prosecutors say they will file over a $2,500 necklace reported stolen by an upscale jewelry store. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
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LOS ANGELES — Lindsay Lohan pleaded not guilty to felony grand theft of a $2,500 necklace — a case that could return the troubled starlet to jail rather than the big screen.

She entered the plea Wednesday through her attorney.

Superior Court Judge Keith Schwartz set bail at $40,000. He says it appears Lohan violated her probation and told her not to push her luck by getting into any more trouble.

The "Mean Girls" star was met by a swarm of photographers when she arrived at the courthouse for her arraignment in a white dress and sunglasses.

Prosecutors claim the 24-year-old starlet took the necklace in January while on probation for a 2007 drunken driving case.

If convicted of the theft charge, Lohan could face up to three years in state prison.

Police and prosecutors claim Lohan took the necklace from a store in the beachside community of Venice on Jan. 22, weeks after she was released from a rehab facility where she was accused of misconduct.

The former Disney star has struggled with the terms of her probation, and was sentenced to rehab twice and jail twice last year.

Judge Schwartz will determine if Lohan violated the terms of her probation, which required her to obey all laws and submit to random drug and alcohol testing.

The jewelry case is not Lohan’s only concern. Prosecutors in Riverside County are considering whether to charge the actress with battery for an altercation with a rehab worker at the Betty Ford Center in December.

The worker was fired after giving an on-camera interview to celebrity website TMZ, but district attorney’s spokesman John Hall has said the allegation against Lohan was under review.

The threat of incarceration has hung over Lohan since May, when a judge handling her DUI case determined she violated her probation by missing weekly alcohol education classes.

Her three stints in jail in the past three years have all been shortened by overcrowding and the fact that she could not be held without bail on a misdemeanor.

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