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Remember Frances McDormand's 'stolen' Oscar? Now charges are dropped against accused thief

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The Los Angeles Police Department made an arrest in the case of best-actress winner Frances McDormand’s stolen Oscar.
USA TODAY

LOS ANGELES — Charges against a man accused of stealing Frances McDormand’s Oscar statuette from an Academy Awards after-party have been dropped.

The trial for Terry Bryant was to begin Tuesday, but Los Angeles prosecutors said in court that they were unable to proceed with the case against the 58-year-old.

A judge then granted a defense motion to dismiss it.

The district attorney’s office gave no explanation, and Bryant’s attorney wasn’t immediately available for comment. 

But the attorney argued in court pretrial hearings that there was never any intent to keep the award.

McDormand won the award for best actress for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” on March 4, 2018, and couldn’t find the statuette after having it engraved at the post-show the Governors Ball.

Associated Press video showed Bryant leaving the party holding an Oscar.

McDormand was celebrating her second career best-actress win when the alleged theft took place. After the Oscar went missingduring the party, McDormand was spotted crying outside the ball near her husband, filmmaker Joel Coen.

Hours after the statuette disappeared, McDormand’s representative Simon Halls confirmed to USA TODAY that the trophy and the Oscar winner were back together.

“Fran and Oscar are happily reunited and are enjoying an In-N-Out burger together,” Halls said in an email.

Prosecutors charged Bryant with felony grand theft; he could have gotten three years in prison if the trial had proceeded and he was convicted.

It was a puzzling end to a puzzling case, as Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel noted in the jokes he made about it on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” on the Monday night following the Oscars:

“Frances McDormand was robbed last night, but not in the usual way people are robbed at the Oscars….At the afterparty, she put her Oscar down on the table and someone snatched it….And not only is that dumb, it’s dangerous. I would rather steal from Mike Tyson than Frances McDormand, she’ll beat your (expletive).

“And what’s the long-term plan when you steal an Oscar? Hope your friends didn’t notice you didn’t win Best Actress in 2018?” 

Contributing: Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY 

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  • Go backstage at the 90th annual Academy Awards with1 of 28
  • March 4, 2018; Hollywood, CA, USA; (L-R) Jodie Foster,2 of 28
  • March 4, 2018; Hollywood, CA, USA; Winning envelopes3 of 28
  • March 4, 2018; Hollywood, CA, USA; Jordan Peele (center)4 of 28
  • March 4, 2018; Hollywood, CA, USA; Greta Gerwig backstage5 of 28
  • March 4, 2018; Hollywood, CA, USA; Helen Mirren backstage6 of 28
  • March 4, 2018; Hollywood, CA, USA; Emily Blunt (L)7 of 28
  • March 4, 2018; Hollywood, CA, USA; Gary Oldman backstage8 of 28
  • Allison Janney shows off her supporting-actress trophy9 of 28
  • Newly minted supporting actor winner Sam Rockwell gets10 of 28
  • Tiffany Haddish. seen here laughing with co-presenter11 of 28
  • Presenter Matthew McConaughey, who won best actor in12 of 28
  • Not many basketball stars can say they've won NBA MVP13 of 28
  • When Alexander Hamilton met Sydney Bristow: Presenters14 of 28
  • Mahershala Ali, who won best supporting actor for 'Moonlight'15 of 28
  • Presenter Sandra Bullock, center, who won in 2010 for16 of 28
  • Common, who performed his best-original-song nominee17 of 28
  • 'Jane the Virgin' star Gina Rodriguez and 'Spider-Man'18 of 28
  • Presenter Rita Moreno works it backstage, wearing the19 of 28
  • Presenter Viola Davis, who won best supporting actress20 of 28
  • Presenters Lupita Nyong'o and Kumail Nanjiani (second21 of 28
  • God save 'The Queen': Helen Mirren, who won best actress22 of 28
  • Presenter Laura Dern, left, chats with 'Lady Bird'23 of 28
  • In addition to presenting, 'Wonder Woman' star Gal24 of 28
  • 'Call Me By Your Name' star Armie Hammer was one of25 of 28
  • Ansel Elgort, third left, follows co-presenter Eiza26 of 28
  • Natalia LaFourcade and Gael Garcia Bernal relax backstage27 of 28
  • March 4, 2018; Hollywood, CA, USA; Helen Mirren and28 of 28

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