Hilton, who was brought to court in handcuffs in a sheriff's car, came into the courtroom disheveled and weeping, hair askew, sans makeup, wearing a gray fuzzy sweatshirt over slacks.
She cried throughout the hearing, her body shook constantly and she dabbed at her eyes. Several times she turned to her parents, seated behind her in the courtroom, and mouthed, "I love you."
Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer was calm but apparently irked by the morning's developments. He said he had left the courthouse Thursday night having signed an order for Hilton to appear for the hearing.
When he got in his car early Friday, he said, he heard a radio report that he had approved Hilton's participation in the hearing by telephone, but he had not.
"I at no time condoned the actions of the sheriff and at no time told him I approved the actions," he said of the decision to release Hilton from jail after three days.
"At no time did I approve the defendant being released from custody to her home on Kings Road," Sauer said.
Assistant City Attorney Dan F. Jeffries argued that Hilton should be returned to jail, and said that was purely the judge's decision to make. "Her release after only three days erodes confidence in the judicial system," Jeffries said.
Hilton's attorney, Richard Hutton, implored the judge to order a hearing in his chambers at which he would hear testimony about Hilton's medical condition before making a decision.
The judge did not respond to that suggestion.
Another of her attorneys, Steve Levine, said, "The sheriff has determined that because of her medical situation, this (jail) is a dangerous place for her."
"The court's role here is to let the Sheriff's Department run the jail," he said.
A former district attorney, Robert Philibosian, also represented Hilton. He said that the law supports the sheriff in making an independent decision on her custodial situation.
The judge interrupted several times to say that he had received a call last Wednesday from an undersheriff informing him that Hilton had a medical condition and that he would submit papers to the judge to consider. He said the papers never arrived.
Every few minutes, the judge would interrupt proceedings and state the time on the clock and note that the papers still had not arrived.
He also noted that he had heard that a private psychiatrist visited Hilton in jail and he wondered if that person played a role in deciding her medical needs.