The judge in the domestic diva's case sets a surrender date for Stewart to go to prison

By Sharon Cotliar
September 21, 2004 01:00 PM

Martha Stewart’s prison date is set. The judge in the domestic diva’s case has ordered her to surrender by Oct. 8, a rep for Stewart’s legal team tells PEOPLE.

Judge Miriam Cedarbaum also recommended Tuesday that U.S. prison officials send Stewart to a prison camp in Danbury, Conn., or Coleman, Fla. She will be required to report to prison before 2 p.m. on Oct. 8, and Stewart will know 72 hours before her surrender where she will serve her time.

“Martha is pleased that Judge Cedarbaum has set an early date for her to begin serving her sentence,” the rep for her legal team said. “She remains hopeful that she will be designated to Danbury, which is the facility closest to her home.”

Stewart announced last week that she was ready to begin serving her sentence, which she said would allow her to “put this nightmare behind me” – and be out in time to plant her spring garden.

“I want to reclaim my good life,” Stewart said during a press conference. “I must return to my good works and allow those around me to do the same.”

Stewart was sentenced in March to five months behind bars for lying to federal investigators looking into a suspicious stock trade. Her prison time will be followed by five months of house arrest, which she said she would like to serve in her Bedford, N.Y., home.

“Although I and my attorneys firmly believe in the strength of (my) appeal, recent delays and extensions have now made it abundantly clear that my appeal will not be heard until sometime next year,” Stewart said at last week’s gathering. “So I have decided to serve my sentence now, to put this nightmare behind me and get on with my life and living as soon as possible.”

Added Stewart: “I am very sad that I will miss the holiday seasons Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years – always an opportunity to celebrate family, friends and religious traditions that mean so much to many of us.”