A defense witness appeared to have ulterior motives, but a video tape reputed to show Winona Ryder cutting sensor tags off merchandise never materialized in Friday’s testimony:
- “I don’t think so, I feel pretty good where we’re at right now,” defense attorney Mark Geragos said when asked if he planned to put Ryder on the witness stand before he makes his closing argument. The jury could get the case as early as Monday.
Geragos called four defense witnesses Friday, including a disgruntled former Saks Fifth Avenue employee who testified that the store’s head of security told him he would do whatever it took to get the star of “Girl, Interrupted” and other films convicted.
“He said he had a very important case now and basically he would nail that rich Beverly Hills bitch on shoplifting charges,” Michael Shoar testified.
Ryder, 31, is accused of stealing more than $5,500 worth of goods from the Beverly Hills Saks on Dec. 12.
Shoar, who worked in Saks’ Costa Mesa store, said the Beverly Hills store’s asset protection manager, Ken Evans, made the remark when they spoke by phone shortly after Ryder’s arrest.
Shoar said he later had lunch with Evans and “he was very anxious, nervous and he said he would bring her down one way or another. … He would make enough evidence so it would show the shoplifting charge was true.”
Evans testified earlier he did not make such comments.
On cross-examination, Deputy District Attorney Ann Rundle asked Shoar if he was no longer allowed to come onto Saks Fifth Avenue property.
Shoar said yes.
“Isn’t it true that you have an ax to grind with Saks Fifth Avenue?” she asked.
“Yes, I do,” Shoar replied.
She then elicited from Shoar parts of a story in which he and his wife threatened to sue Saks over an alleged affair his wife had with someone at a Saks store.
….Geragos also called two Beverly Hills police officials.
Detective George Elwell said sensor tags that Ryder allegedly cut off merchandise were kept locked in his desk drawer until they were needed at the preliminary hearing and they weren’t booked into evidence until then.
Police Lt. Gary Gilmond, acknowledged at a press conference after Ryder’s arrest he said she was videotaped cutting off the tags. He said he later learned there were no such tapes.
Security videotapes played in court only show Ryder moving through the store’s boutiques, not inside dressing rooms where the tags were allegedly removed.
District attorney’s spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons acknowledged issuing a press release using Gilmond’s erroneous account.
“It was not inaccurate that the Beverly Hills police said this at a news conference,” Gibbons said. “I hadn’t seen the videotape and I still haven’t seen the videotape.”
Oops, tie goes to the runner. What is most disturbing about the entire case, however, is how much Winona looks like Michael Jackson in this picture.