Thursday September 27, 2012

LOS ANGELES -- Two people charged with trying to ex tort millions of dollars from Stevie Wonder pleaded no contest on Mon day and were re leased after being sentenced to time-served in jail.

Alpha Lorenzo Walker and Tamara Diaz were sentenced to serve 292 days in jail and three years of probation for attempting to sell a video that purportedly portrayed Wonder in a negative light. Jail credits made the pair eligible for release Monday.

The pair was arrested in May after the Grammy-winner's at torney arranged a sting and claimed Walker had sought up to $5 million for the video.

Walker's attorney, Ian Wal lach, said the deal was reached after prosecutors encountered trouble proving the extortion case and that the charges were eligible to be reduced to misdemeanors and expunged later if the pair comply with the terms of their release.

A judge ordered the pair to stand trial in July after a preliminary hearing in which a police de tective described the video as an 80-minute rant against Won der.

Wallach had maintained his client was innocent and that he had a constitutional right to make and market the video. Diaz is Walker's girlfriend and was present during a police sting that involved Wonder's attorney and led to the pair's arrest.