Ryder's shoplifting trial is delayed again. The judge sets a late August date, not for the trial, but for a pretrial hearing over evidence

By Gary Susman
August 01, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT

The Winona Ryder shoplifting trial saga seems to be dragging on longer than her fatal illness in ”Autumn in New York.” An end to the beginning is finally in sight. While Judge Elden Fox was expected to set a trial date on Tuesday, he instead set a date for a pretrial hearing, for Aug. 26. However, he said, he would set a trial date within 30 days of that hearing, according to published reports.

The pretrial hearing will address questions of admissibility of evidence and discovery issues. Beverly Hills prosecutors say that Ryder’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, has not presented them with some of the pieces of evidence; Geragos denies that claim.

Judge Fox decided in June that he’d seen enough evidence against Ryder to warrant a trial, after a Saks Fifth Avenue security guard testified to seeing Ryder snip tags off two items in a dressing room during her alleged shoplifting spree in December. She’s charged with grand theft, second-degree burglary, vandalism, and possession of a controlled substance (the prescription drug Oxycodone). Ryder has pleaded not guilty on all counts, with Geragos claiming that the store’s security cameras tell a different story, and that Ryder had a prescription for the Oxycodone.

Ryder’s career got a boost of its own when she starred opposite Adam Sandler in this summer’s ”Mr. Deeds.” She’ll next be seen with Al Pacino in ”Simone,” due out Aug. 23.

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