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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 5 November, 2002, 03:18 GMT
Winona silent as defence rests case
Winona Ryder at courthouse
Ryder could face three years in jail if convicted
The defence has rested in Winona Ryder's shoplifting trial without calling the Hollywood star to the stand to testify.

She came, she stole, she left

Ann Rundle
Prosecutor

The prosecutor told the jury that the case against the Oscar-nominated actress was clear and simple.

"She came, she stole, she left. Period. End of story," prosecutor Ann Rundle told the jury of six men and six women in a 40-minute closing statement.

Judge Elden Fox told the jury to choose a foreperson and return on Tuesday to begin deliberations on a verdict.

The actress denies charges of vandalism, grand theft and burglary.

Ms Ryder could face three years in jail if convicted.

'Thrill'

Ms Rundle rejected the defence's claims that Winona Ryder had been singled out for persecution because of her celebrity status.

Ms Ryder had cut sensor tags on clothing and accessories at the Beverly Hills Saks Fifth Avenue last December, Ms Rundle said.

She then tried to leave the shop with about $5,500 worth of stolen goods, the court heard.

"She may have been stealing just for the sheer thrill of seeing if she could get away with it," said Ms Rundle.

Security officials said Ms Ryder had confessed to shoplifting but said she had only done it to prepare for a movie role.

"The law doesn't say crime is OK if your director told you to do it," Ms Rundle told the court.

"And there is no evidence that a director told her to do it."

Testimony 'unnecessary'

But Mark Geragos, Ms Ryder's defence lawyer, said that Saks Fifth Avenue had invented a story in order to avoid civil liability.
Winona Ryder at Cannes Film Festival, 1998
Ryder dominated Hollywood films in the 1990s
Mr Geragos had also alleged that a key witness fabricated evidence out of resentment at the Hollywood star's success.

Defence witness Michael Shoar said the security chief at Saks, Kenneth Evans, confessed to wanting to "nail" the star of Girl, Interrupted and Mr Deeds.

Prosecutor Ann Rundle had immediately challenged Mr Shoar's evidence, suggesting that he himself had an axe to grind as a former employee of the store who was suing it on an unrelated issue.

Mr Shoar, who was not working at the store when Ms Ryder was challenged, said Mr Evans confided in him shortly after her arrest on 12 December 2001 that he was "making up evidence".

Her lawyer has suggested the incident at Saks was a misunderstanding and that, recognising Ms Ryder, the staff at Saks "got out of control".

See also:

03 Nov 02 | Entertainment
02 Nov 02 | Entertainment
01 Nov 02 | Entertainment
31 Oct 02 | Entertainment
30 Oct 02 | Entertainment
29 Oct 02 | Entertainment
16 Oct 02 | Entertainment
14 Dec 01 | Entertainment
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