Celeb burglary suspect's request denied
'Pretty Wild' star wants statements to police barredA judge denied a request Monday by a woman accused of burglarizing the home of Orlando Bloom to have her statements to police barred from her trial.
Defendant Alexis Neiers, 18, testified that she didn't understand her Miranda rights to remain silent and have an attorney present for the interviews.
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 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."
Neiers stars on the E! Entertainment Television show "Pretty Wild," which chronicles her family and her attempts to become a model. The show has prominently featured the criminal case against her.
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.
Five other people are charged in burglaries at the homes of stars such as Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Rachel Bilson. They include Nicholas Prugo, who faces seven felony burglary charges, and Rachel Lee, who is accused of three counts of felony burglary and receiving stolen property.
Prugo has filed a motion arguing that his cooperation with police was essential to building the case against Lee and others, and he should be given a plea deal that doesn't involve any jail time.
He is also seeking an evidentiary hearing that could result in his statements to police being ruled inadmissible. Prugo is due back in court on May 12.
A preliminary hearing to determine if he and Lee will stand trial is scheduled for May 25.