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Lawyer: Man accused of Oscar theft will fight felony charge

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A lawyer for the man charged with stealing Frances McDormand’s Academy Award said Wednesday that he and his client plan to “forcefully and aggressively resist” the allegations against him.

Attorney Daniel Brookman speaks on behalf of defendant Terry Bryant, as the media awaits Bryant's appearance in Los Angeles Superior Court Wednesday, March 7, 2018. Bryant is accused of stealing Frances McDormand's best actress Oscar statuette during the Governors Ball after party on Sunday. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Attorney Daniel Brookman speaks on behalf of defendant Terry Bryant, as the media awaits Bryant’s appearance in Los Angeles Superior Court Wednesday, March 7, 2018. Bryant is accused of stealing Frances McDormand’s best actress Oscar statuette during the Governors Ball after party on Sunday. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes/MANILA BULLETIN)

Attorney Daniel Brookman acknowledged that suspect Terry Bryant can be seen on an Associated Press video holding McDormand’s best actress statuette but those images don’t rise to the seriousness of felony grand theft.

“There’s a big difference between holding an Oscar and what he’s charged with,” Brookman said outside court, where Bryant was expected to make an appearance. “I don’t think his character matches these charges.”

Brookman would not elaborate further about Bryant’s actions or intentions.

Bryant, 47, walked out of the Governors Ball Oscars after-party with the trophy on Sunday night, authorities said. He was captured on the AP video holding it proudly over his head and saying, “All right baby boys and baby girls.”

He quickly gave it up when confronted by a photographer, police said.

McDormand won the Oscar, her second, for her performance in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”

Bryant could get three years in jail if convicted.

Brookman said Bryant will plead not guilty and ask for a reduction of his $20,000 bail.

Naomi Levy, a rabbi who came to court to support Bryant, said he is part of her spiritual congregation and never misses a meeting.

“He’s a sweet and gentle man of faith,” Levy said.

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