Alexis Neiers' Statements About Orlando Bloom Robbery ALLOWED In Trial
Her attorneys argued she repeatedly asked for an attorney while being questioned by police at her home and at a police station after her arrest last year.
Superior Court Judge Leslie A. Swain disagreed, saying a videotape of Neiers' interview showed she had ample opportunity to invoke her right to an attorney. The judge said the statements will be admissible during the trial, scheduled to begin May 10.
Neiers, the star of the E! Entertainment Television show "Pretty Wild," could face as many as six years in prison if convicted of a sole count of felony residential burglary. She has pleaded not guilty to the break-in at Bloom's home.
Swain said Neiers turned down plea deals that would have sent her to county jail for a year and required her to be on probation for several years.
"I've never been in that situation before," Neiers testified about her arrest and interview by police. "For me, I didn't really understand."
A transcript of her hourlong interview shows she didn't ask for her attorney until late in the session. The transcript shows the detective then stopped questioning her.
Neiers told the judge she answered a detective's questions "because I didn't know any better."
Defendant Nicholas Prugo, an alleged ringleader of the group, is also seeking to have his lengthy statements to a detective ruled inadmissible.
In court filings, Prugo's attorneys argued that his cooperation was so substantial – and detrimental to his safety – that seven felony residential burglary charges against him should be dropped.
The filings contend that prosecutors have a duty to offer Prugo a plea deal that would allow him to avoid jail time. They also contend Prugo only cooperated with police at the advice of his former attorney because he expected a favorable plea deal.
"A criminal case is not a Las Vegas casino and a person does not cooperate with law enforcement gambling on a result," Prugo's current attorney Daniel Horowitz wrote in the motion.
"I do not disagree that cooperating was the right thing to do," Prugo himself wrote in a declaration accompanying the motion. "However I would not have provided information and cooperation that increased the charges against me and increased my chances of being identified as a 'snitch' or 'rat' without the expectation of a fair plea agreement."
The filing states Prugo has received death threats as a result of his cooperation.
The motion also states the arrest of Neiers was a direct result of Prugo's statements to police.
In a transcript of her interview with police, Neiers claimed she was drunk when she went to the actor's home with three other people. She told a detective she didn't take anything from the house.
Four other people are charged in burglaries at the homes of stars such as Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Rachel Bilson. They include Rachel Lee, who is accused of three counts of felony burglary and receiving stolen property.
Prugo's motion to exclude his statements to police will be heard on May 12.
A preliminary hearing to determine if he and Lee will stand trial is scheduled for May 25.