Man held in Picasso theft to plead not guilty

July 11, 2011 - 8:29 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The attorney for a New Jersey man accused of snatching a Picasso drawing off the wall of a San Francisco art gallery says his client will plead not guilty.

Mark Lugo appeared in court Monday for the first time since his arrest last week on suspicion of stealing the 1965 sketch, which was on sale at the Weinstein Gallery for more than $200,000.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that a judge agreed to a request from Lugo's attorney, Douglas Horngrad, to postpone his arraignment until Friday. Horngrad said he wants Lugo's $5 million bail reduced.

The 30-year-old sommelier from Hoboken, N.J., is charged with grand theft, possession of stolen property and second-degree burglary.

Police on Wednesday arrested Lugo in Napa, where they found the undamaged drawing stripped from its frame.

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Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com