Winona isn't likely to testify
Winona Ryder’s shoplifting trial may go to the jury as soon as Monday, without the actress having testified in her own defense. Asked Friday if he would put his client on the stand, defense attorney Mark Geragos told reporters, ”I don’t think so. I feel pretty good where we’re at right now.” This after Geragos called four witnesses on Friday, including a former Saks employee who testified, according to media accounts of the trial, that Saks security chief Kenneth Evans told him ”he would nail that rich bitch on shoplifting charges,” and that ”he would make enough evidence to show the charges were true.” Evans denied making such a statement earlier in court.
The former employee, Michael Shoar, admitted under cross-examination that he has reason to bear a grudge against the Beverly Hills department store, acknowledging that he and his wife plan to sue the store for sexual harassment, since a Saks employee pressured her into having sex with him. However, under redirect questioning, Shoar told Geragos that he received a letter of recommendation from Saks after leaving the store and would not perjure himself to hurt Saks.
Other Geragos witnesses included a police detective who said he didn’t book into evidence the allegedly snipped sensor tags but kept them locked in his desk drawer, and a police spokesperson who acknowleged that he was in error when he told the press after Ryder’s arrest that the store security tape showed Ryder snipping the tags. Geragos is trying to make a case that the tags, which did not appear in the store staff’s initial report of the December incident and were not furnished to the police until days later, could be part of an attempt to fabricate a case against Ryder.
It’s not clear who remains to testify on behalf of Ryder, who has pleaded not guilty to charges of shoplifting or vandalizing nearly $6,000 worth of merchandise. With the case likely to go to the jury on Monday, it could be very soon that the actress learns her fate, which, if she’s found guilty, could include a sentence of up to three years behind bars.