DA Set to Offer Deals to Some Bling Ring Defendants

By Eamon McNiff

Mar 11, 2010 3:09pm

ABC News’ Brian Cohen Reports:

All seven defendants involved in the alleged Hollywood "Bling Ring" robberies were in court today, expecting to have a date set for preliminary hearings in their cases.

But defendants Nick Prugo, Rachel Lee, Courtney Ames, Alexis Neiers, Diana Tamayo, Roy Lopez Jr., and Johnny Ajar instead heard the judge decline to set a date so that Deputy District Attorney Sarika Kapoor could cut deals with at least some of them, a process she said would take until April 26. The judge said preliminary hearings would be scheduled later for any cases not settled by then.

All of the defendents except Ajar have been accused of being involved in at least one of the robberies of the homes of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Audrina Patridge, Rachel Bilson, Orlando Bloom, and Brian Austin Green. The string of burglaries started in 2008 and did not end

until Nick Prugo was arrested at his home by authorities last September.  Ajar has been charged with drug and weapon possession offenses.

While all the defendants have pleaded not guilty, they all haven't signed on to the DA’s plan

to settle their cases. Courtney Ames’ attorney Robert Schwartz, for example, indicated his client would not accept any deal because there was no proof she had been involved in the burglaries.

And Nick Prugo’s attorney, Daniel Horowitz, indicated to the judge he planned to filed a motion to suppress Prugo’s confession to the police, claiming prior attorney Sean Erenstoft had not been looking out for Prugo’s best interests in advising him to confess.

However the Deputy District Attorney could be overheard outside the courtroom commenting that even if Prugo’s confession were suppressed, he had admitted on last Friday’s episode of 20/20 to committing burglaries against Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Audrina Patridge, and Orland Bloom, and the televised admission would be powerful evidence of Prugo’s guilt in the case.

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