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Thursday, 19 September, 2002, 08:11 GMT 09:11 UK
Winona to face trial next month
Winona Ryder
Ms Ryder's trial is expected to be set for October
Hollywood star Winona Ryder is to stand trial on shoplifting charges, ending speculation that a plea bargain could be reached.

The actress has denied a charge of stealing nearly $6,000 (3,820) worth of goods from the exclusive department store Saks Fifth Avenue in Los Angeles.

After months of delays, court appearances and negotiations a judge has finally ordered Ms Ryder's trial to begin on 7 October.

The 30-year-old star of Girl, Interrupted and Little Women was not at the Beverley Hills Court to hear the date set by Judge Elden Fox.

Speaking after the hearing, defence attorney Shephard Kopp, said: "Winona Ryder is looking forward to the chance to prove herself innocent of all the charges."

Winona Ryder
Ms Ryder has made several court appearances since she was first charged
There had been an expectation that a plea bargain could be reached to spare Ms Ryder from having to face a trial which could see her private life raked over.

Ms Ryder was arrested just before Christmas last year for allegedly cutting off anti-theft tags from designer clothing and accessories in the department store.

The prosecution alleges that it has a security camera video showing the actress in the shop.

Denied charges

The actress also faces a charge of possession of a controlled substance, the painkiller Oxycodone, without a prescription.

She has denied charges of second degree burglary, grand theft, vandalism and drug possession.

Ms Ryder has been on bail since her arrest but could face more than three years in jail if convicted.

The path to setting a trial date has been a lengthy and complex process as both the prosecution and defence lawyers argued over the smallest details.

On several occasions Ms Ryder's lawyer Mark Geragos has argued that his client will not get a fair hearing because of all the publicity surrounding the case.

See also:

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