Judge orders Stewart to surrender by Oct. 8

NEW YORK — A federal judge ordered Martha Stewart on Tuesday to surrender for prison by Oct. 8, granting the celebrity homemaker’s request to begin serving her sentence for lying about a stock sale.

The judge also recommended that U.S. prison officials assign Stewart to a prison camp in Danbury, Conn., or Coleman, Fla. — the two she requested last week.

U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum sentenced Stewart to five months in prison in July, but allowed Stewart to remain out of prison while she appealed her conviction.

Last week, Stewart asked the judge to allow her to begin serving her time, saying she wanted to “reclaim my good life” and put the ordeal behind her and her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc.

Shares in Martha Stewart Living rose $1.18, about 9 percent, to $14.35 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock had been trading around $19 per share before Stewart’s name was tied to the stock scandal.

Publicists for Stewart said in a statement that she was pleased the judge had set an “early date” for her to begin serving her sentence.

“She remains hopeful that she will be designated to Danbury, which is the facility closest to her home,” the statement said.

The U.S. Bureau of Prisons must now decide where Stewart will serve her time. Her first choice, the minimum-security facility in Connecticut, is close to her home in Westport.

Dan Dunne, a spokesman for the bureau, said both the Connecticut and Florida facilities are above their “rated capacity.” But he said that does not rule out either one. He did not have a timetable for when the decision would be made.

Cedarbaum said Stewart must surrender for prison by 2 p.m. on Oct. 8. A five-month term would place Stewart’s release in early March — in time, as Stewart said last week, for spring planting season.


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