Date: 16th March 2001
LATEST: Troubled actor Robert Downey Jnr has spurned a plea bargain offered by the prosecution in the latest drugs charges against him.
The decision means that Downey Jr's case will now go to court. Both prosecutors and Downey's defence attorneys were hoping to settle the case out of court but now a judge is likely to set a date for a preliminary hearing.
Downey Jr will not be in attendance when the case returns to court next Thursday (22MAR01), his lawyer says.
The 35-year-old Chaplin (1992) star - who has won a GOLDEN GLOBE and a SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARD for his role on TV's ALLY MCBEAL - was arrested last November (00) at a luxury hotel in the desert resort of Palm Springs, California. Downey Jr is facing charges of possessing cocaine, Valium and being under the influence of a controlled substance. If convicted on all three counts, he could be sentenced to four years and eight months in state prison.
Downey has entered a plea of not guilty. The preliminary hearing will determine whether there is enough evidence against the actor to proceed with a trial. (PDD/WNWCPO)