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Courtney Love trial date set

Rocker faces a misdemeanor drug charge
/ Source: Reuters

Rocker Courtney Love made a brief court appearance Monday with a new lawyer and was ordered to return in two weeks to face trial on a misdemeanor drug charge unless the case is settled by then.

Love, 39, who had been scheduled to stand trial Monday, told Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg that she fired her former attorney at the last minute because “he wanted me to plead guilty to something I didn’t do.”

She said little else during the proceedings.

The performer faces a misdemeanor charge of being under the influence of a controlled substance stemming from her arrest Oct. 2 outside the home of a boyfriend, where police said she was breaking windows in the middle of the night.

Hours after being released on bail, she was taken to a local hospital for what police called a “medical emergency,” and was charged in Beverly Hills with two felony counts of unlawful possession of prescription painkillers in connection with that incident. A preliminary hearing in that case has been set for March 16.

Love has pleaded innocent to all the charges.

Love's lawyer hoping charges can be resolvedHer new lawyer, Michael Rosenstein, told Schnegg he needed more time to familiarize himself with the case and to obtain a portion of the urine sample collected from Love as evidence against her to have it independently analyzed.

“We want to make sure that it says what in fact the City Attorney is claiming that it says,” Rosenstein told reporters outside the courthouse.

The judge initially said she was reluctant to grant a postponement of the trial, saying, “This case is old, way old,” but ultimately she agreed to delay the trial date to March 8.

Rosenstein said he was “hopeful” of reaching some kind of resolution to the case before going to trial.

A spokesman for the City Attorney’s Office, Eric Moses, said Love would be eligible to enter a drug diversion program in lieu of jail if she entered a plea of guilty or no contest. That conviction would then be removed from her record if she completed the treatment program successfully.

If she goes to trial and is convicted, Love would face a mandatory minimum sentence of 90 days in jail and could get as much as a year, Moses said.

Love, who released her latest album, “America’s Sweetheart,” earlier this month, also is embroiled in a battle with relatives of her late husband, rock singer Kurt Cobain, for custody of their 11-year-old daughter.

Asked after the hearing if she had a statement for reporters, Love turned, smiled and said, “Peace and love to everybody.” She also joked that she picked a new attorney ”because he’s cute.”