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'The Simple Life' star Nicole Richie asks for yet another trial delay

By Christopher Rocchio, 07/11/2007 

Nicole Richie may be willing to face the consequences of possible jail time, but The Simple Life star sure seems to be pulling out all the stops to postpone her fate.

One day before Richie's already previously postponed trial for charges stemming from a December arrest for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol was set to begin, her attorney filed court papers requesting the trial be pushed back again, E! News reported Tuesday. 

Richie's trial was scheduled to commence today, however her attorney Shawn Chapman Holley asked its start be postponed to Monday, August 13 because a drug expert retained to testify on his client's behalf -- Dr. Terrance Sean McGee -- will be unable to do so until August 5 because he's out of the country, according to E! News.

"His testimony will be critical to Miss Richie's case and there is no other expert retained by the defense who can testify in this regard," Holley wrote in his court document filing.

Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Steven Lubell didn't immediately grant the delay request, according to E! News.  However Richie succeeded in winning at least a small delay -- instead of starting her trial on Wednesday morning like it was supposed to, Lubell scheduled a hearing to listen to arguments on Richie's request to postpone the trial further. 

Jane Robinson, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, confirmed to E! News that regardless of the hearing's outcome, Richie's trial would be delayed "by at least one day."

The 25-year-old was arrested December 11 after highway police responded to 911 calls of a driver traveling the wrong way on Los Angeles' freeway and allegedly found her sitting behind the wheel of her idling SUV in the carpool lane.  When police questioned Richie at the time of her arrest, The Simple Life star failed a sobriety test and admitted that she had smoked marijuana and taken the painkiller Vicodin. 

She pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence in February, and her trial was originally scheduled to start Monday, June 25 until Lubell granted the first postponement at the request of Richie's lawyers on June 20.  However Lubell also made it clear that he wouldn't grant any additional delays, presumably meaning waiting for McGee's return to the U.S. will not be allowed.

Because Richie has a previous DUI conviction, she could be sentenced up to a year in jail and given a $1,000 fine.

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