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Winona Ryder ordered to stand trial

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Winona Ryder
Winona Ryder: Nick Ut/AP/Wide World

Winona Ryder appeared at her preliminary hearing in Beverly Hills Thursday with her right arm in a sling, the result of the elbow fracture she suffered on Monday amid the media crush at the courthouse. But the sling failed to win Ryder the mercy of the court. After hearing testimony from two Saks Fifth Avenue security staffers, Judge Elden Fox ordered the actress to be arraigned for trial on June 14, saying, ”There is sufficient cause to believe that Ms. Winona Ryder is guilty and that she be ordered held to answer.”

Saks security officer Colleen Rainey testified that she saw Ryder use a pair of scissors to cut the sensor tags off two purses inside a dressing room, and that Ryder even pricked her finger and left a spot of blood on the bottom of one purse. She said she spotted the ”Edward Scissorhands” star snipping the tags through the slats of the dressing room door, having been sent to watch the actor by store security chief Kenneth Evans.

Evans testified that he became suspicious of Ryder when he watched her on the store’s security cameras. He said he noticed her because she was carrying several bags and wearing a three-quarter length cashmere coat, leading Evans to suspect she was homeless. Ryder’s attorney, Mark Geragos, asked Evans if he saw a lot of homeless women wearing cashmere coats, a question that drew an objection from the prosecution and which Evans did not answer.

Geragos told reporters after the hearing that the testimony against Ryder was ”close to full-blown perjury. Those witnesses lied through their teeth. I believe that Saks targeted her as a celebrity. We have a lot of other evidence we did not produce.”

Attending the hearing was Mark Klaas, father of murdered 12-year-old Polly Klaas, the search for whose kidnapper and killer in 1993 became a cause célèbre when Ryder lent her support to the effort. ”I can certainly speak to the character of Winona Ryder,” Klaas told the Associated Press. ”I think it’s terrible what they’re doing to her. She understands the seriousness of crime in our society.”

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