James Jimenez stood trial last year (09) after he allegedly stole a designer bag from Dunst’s suite at the SoHo Grand Hotel in New York in 2007.
Jimenez was convicted on a misdemeanour count of criminal trespass in October (09), but members of the jury failed to reach a verdict on charges of felony burglary.
A retrial is now underway, and during a hearing at Manhattan Supreme Court on Wednesday (26May10), a lawyer representing the 35-year-old suspect claimed Jimenez gained access to the suite because he accompanied Jarrod Beinerman, who was allegedly invited to Dunst’s hotel room.
Defence lawyer Robert Parker told the court, “There were drugs in the room. Beinerman is a major New York drug dealer. (Jimenez) obviously had permission to be there. (Beinerman was) selling drugs to someone on the penthouse floor. How did those guys get up to the penthouse floor? It’s a very, very secure floor.”
Prosecutors objected to the allegation and the lawyer was banned from revealing any more information about Beinerman’s criminal background unless he is called to testify. He is currently serving a four-year prison sentence for burglary.
A rep for Dunst has also spoken out about the allegation, insisting it’s completely untrue. Her spokesman Stephen Huvane tells the New York Daily News, “That is completely false and clearly a desperate ploy by the attorney.”
The Spider-Man star, who testified at the original trial last year (09), is expected to take the stand again next week (beg31May10).