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Alleged Picasso Thief to Plead Not Guilty Friday

 
Lawyer says stolen sketch is "probably worth more" now

Accused Picasso thief Mark Lugo appeared briefly in San Francisco Superior Court Monday afternoon with his lawyer, local defense attorney Douglas Horngrad.

Judge Samuel Feng postponed Lugo’s arraignment until Friday and kept his bail at $5 million.

Horngrad stopped outside the courtroom to say a few words.

“Nobody is dead. Nobody’s been assaulted. This is not the crime of the century,” he said. “This sketch is probably worth more to the Weinstein Gallery now than it was last week.”

Horngrad refused to elaborate on his comment, or speak further about his plans for defending his client, except to say that Lugo will plead not guilty to all charges Friday.

Lugo is charged with three felony counts: commercial burglary, grand theft of personal property and possession of stolen property. Three drug possession charges were dropped, pending further investigation.

The gallery's owner could not be reached for comment Monday.

In a jailhouse interview with ABC News last week, Lugo said he was looking for a lawyer with experience in high-profile cases who would preferably work pro bono.

Lugo, 30, of Hoboken, N.J., didn’t speak in court Monday as he stood clean-shaven in an orange jumpsuit with his hands cuffed behind him.

Lugo was arrested last week in Napa, the day after he allegedly went into Weinstein Gallery near Union Square, took a small Picasso sketch off the wall, walked out and caught a cab.

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