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Andre Lutai Pleads Guilty

Remember Russian figure skater Andre Lutai?  And his drunken car-stealing hijinks after Skate America in 2009?  Well, Mr. Lutai has pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of reckless driving, according to the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.

Lutai was arrested the night of Nov. 15, 2009, just hours after finishing 10th at a Skate America event at the Olympic Center. Police said he stole a Chevrolet Impala that had been parked along Main Street next to Central Garage. The car belonged to a customer of the garage, and the keys had been left in it. After employees of the business called the police, officers spotted the Impala, pulled Lutai over, determined he was drunk and arrested him.

Lutai was initially charged with felony counts of third-degree grand larceny and third-degree criminal possession of stolen property, along with misdemeanor counts of aggravated driving while intoxicated and third-degree unauthorized use of a vehicle. He spent three nights in the Essex County Jail before he was released on his own recognizance. Lutai returned to Russia several days later after federal immigration officials rescinded a detainer issued in the wake of his arrest.

The felony charges have been dismissed.  Lutai received a one-year skating ban from Russia following the theft.  He has since gotten married and moved to Bulgaria.  He has been coaching and wants to return to competition.