Judge orders her to serve out sentence
Paris Hilton was taken from a courtroom screaming and crying Friday seconds after a judge ordered her returned to jail to serve out her entire 45-day sentence for a parole violation in a reckless driving case
“It’s not right!” shouted the weeping Hilton. “Mom!” she called out to her mother in the audience.
Hilton, who was brought to court in handcuffs in a sheriff’s car, came into the courtroom disheveled and weeping. Her hair was askew and she wore a gray fuzzy sweatshirt over slacks. She wore no makeup and she cried throughout the hearing.
Her body also shook constantly as she dabbed at her eyes. Several times she turned to her parents who were seated behind her in the courtroom and mouthed the words, “I love you.”
Many of Hilton’s several dozen supporters outside the courthouse appeared devastated.
“No! No! No!” Jake Byrd of Chino screamed as a court spokesman delivered the news to reporters outside court.
During the hearing on the issue of her early release, Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer was calm but apparently irked by developments of the morning. He said he had left the courthouse Thursday night having signed an order for Hilton to appear for the hearing.
When he got in his car early Friday, he said, he heard a radio report that she would not appear and that he had approved a telephonic hearing. He said no such thing had been approved by him.
“I at no time condoned the actions of the sheriff and at no time told him I approved the actions,” he said of the decision to release Hilton from jail after three days.
“At no time did I approve the defendant being released from custody to her home on Kings Road,” he said.
The hearing was requested by the city attorney’s office, which had prosecuted Hilton and wanted Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca held in contempt for deciding to reassign Hilton to home detention despite the judge’s express order that she must serve her time in jail.
A member of the county counsel’s staff said that Baca was concerned with Hilton’s medical condition and was willing to come to court with medical personnel to meet with the judge. The judge did not take him up on the offer, however the judge took no action on the contempt request.
Assistant City Attorney Dan F. Jeffries argued that Hilton should be returned to jail and said that was purely the judge’s decision to make.
He said that “her release after only three days erodes confidence in the judicial system.”
Hilton’s attorney, Richard Hutton, implored the judge to order a hearing in his chambers at which he would hear testimony about Hilton’s medical condition before making a decision.
The judge did not respond to that suggestion.
Another of her attorneys, Steve Levine, said, “The sheriff has determined that because of her medical situation, this (jail) is a dangerous place for her.”
“The court’s role here is to let the Sheriff’s Department run the jail,” he said.
A former district attorney, Robert Philibosian, also represented Hilton. He said that the law supports the sheriff in making an independent decision on her custodial situation.
The judge interrupted several times to say that he had received a call last Wednesday from an undersheriff informing him that Hilton had a medical condition and that he would submit papers to the judge to consider. He said the papers never arrived.
Every few minutes, the judge would interrupt proceedings and state the time on the clock and note that the papers still had not arrived.
He also noted that he had heard that a private psychiatrist visited Hilton in jail and he wondered if that person played a role in deciding her medical needs.
The last attorney to speak was another deputy city attorney, David Bozanich, who declared, “This is a simple case. There was a court. The Sheriff’s Department chose to violate that order. There is no ambiguity.”
As he made the final pitch for Hilton’s further incarceration, Hilton’s entire body began trembling. He had a ball of tissue clutched in her hand and tears ran down her face.
Seconds later the judge announced his decision.
“The defendant is remanded to county jail to serve the remainder of her 45-day sentence. This order is forthwith,” he said.
The courtroom was surrounded with eight deputies who immediately ordered all spectators out.
Hilton’s mother Kathy threw her arms around her husband Rick and sobbed uncontrollably.
Deputies escorted Hilton out of the room, holding each of her arms as she looked back.
Hilton’s legal travails will have no effect on her E! Entertainment Television series “The Simple Life: Goes to Camp,” rep for the cabler said. Reality skein featuring Hilton and her longtime pal Nicole Richie, which first bowed on Fox in 2003 before switching to E!, is in the third week of a 10-seg order. E! has not committed to another round of “Simple Life” beyond current series.
Hilton has dabbled in acting as her celebutante fame has grown during the past few years, with numerous TV guest shots and roles in 2005’s “House of Wax” and last year’s “Bottoms Up.”
The frenzy began early Thursday when sheriff’s officials released Hilton because of an undisclosed medical condition and sent her home under house arrest with an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet.
The Los Angeles County jail system is so overcrowded that attorneys and jail officials have said it is not unusual for nonviolent offenders like Hilton to be released after serving as little as 10 percent of their sentences. The sheriff’s decision for an early release, however, was based on a medical condition rather than overcrowding.
Hilton’s path to jail began Sept. 7, when she failed a sobriety test after police saw her weaving down a street in her Mercedes-Benz on what she said was a late-night run to a hamburger stand.
She pleaded no contest to reckless driving and was sentenced to 36 months’ probation, alcohol education and $1,500 in fines.
In the months that followed she was stopped twice by officers who discovered her driving on a suspended license. The second stop landed her in Sauer’s courtroom, where he sentenced her to jail.