Paris Hilton was in jail, then out, then back again as her bizarre case became more erratic than the driving that landed the hotel heiress in hot water.
On Saturday she was still behind bars, a long way from the red carpet she strolled down a week ago at the MTV Movie Awards, and the subject of endless Internet chatter and questions about her fate.
To help sort it out, here are some answers to those questions:
Q: Where is Hilton now?
A: The 26-year-old is undergoing medical and psychiatric examination at the Correctional Treatment Center at Los Angeles County’s “Twin Towers” jail facility downtown.
Q: Does she have a cellmate?
A: No. “Most of the individuals in the Correctional Treatment Center are alone,” said sheriff’s department spokesman Steve Whitmore.
Q: Will she go back to the same isolated cell she was in earlier in the week at the Century Regional Detention Center in Lynwood?
A: Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said he would determine the best place to house the heiress when he learns the results of her medical and psychiatric exams.
Q: How did she end up behind bars?
A: Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer originally sentenced Hilton in May to serve 45 days in jail for violating her probation in an alcohol-related reckless-driving case. She surrendered to sheriff’s deputies on June 3 and was booked at the Lynwood jail. She was released Thursday with an electronic-monitoring bracelet to serve the remainder of her sentence at home. Sauer ordered her to appear in court Friday and sent her back to jail to complete her 45-day term.
Q: Why did the sheriff release Hilton in the first place?
A: Baca said the heiress’ release was based on her “severe medical problems.”
Q: What’s wrong with her?
A: Baca said he couldn’t reveal the exact nature of her condition because of confidentiality issues, but he characterized her problems as “psychological.” Hilton’s spokesman had no comment on her health.
Q: Is she a danger to herself?
A: Baca said Hilton is being temporarily housed at a facility that “has a more intense form of medical support and will watch her behavior so that there isn’t anything that is harmfully done to herself by herself.”
Q: Will the sheriff free her early again?
A: Only if the court shortens her sentence, Whitmore said. “We will comply with the court’s decision.”
Q: Will she serve all 45 days?
A: Probably not. Hilton will serve about 18 days, Baca said Friday. State law requires that inmates get time off their sentences for each day they serve. Hilton was expected to serve 23 days of her 45-day sentence. She has already served five days, according to the sheriff’s department.
Q: Are other inmates usually released before they’ve served their full terms?
A: Yes. County jails are overcrowded, Baca said, and most misdemeanor offenders serve just 10 percent of their sentence. “Under our 10 percent early release program, (Hilton) would have not served any time in our jail or would have been directly put on home electric monitoring system,” he said Friday.
Q: Are other prisoners released because of medical conditions?
A: Yes. “It happens all the time,” Whitmore said, depending on the nature of the offense. Nonviolent offenders typically serve 10 percent of their sentence, he said, adding that Hilton “has done twice as much (time) as any other person with a similar offense.”
Q: Can Hilton appeal?
A: Hilton spokesman Elliot Mintz said he expected an appeal to be filed by Monday.
Q: What are the grounds for appeal?
A: Legal experts say that Hilton’s attorney, Richard Hutton, will likely file a writ with an appellate court, possibly the superior court’s appellate division, seeking an emergency hearing on whether the judge overstepped his authority in forcing Hilton’s return to jail after the sheriff released her to home confinement.
Q: Will Hilton ever work in Hollywood again?
A: Of course.