SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A $100,000 bench warrant was issued Thursday for Griffin O'Neal, the oldest son of actor Ryan O'Neal, when he failed to appear for sentencing in a case in which he admitted driving on drugs and causing a head-on crash in North County that injured him and the other driver.
Defense attorney Heather Boxeth told Judge Eugenia Eyherabide that her 47-year-old client, who was arrested New Year's Eve for allegedly roughing up his wife, bailed out of jail early Thursday morning and checked himself into a residential rehabilitation facility.
"He should have come to court," the judge told Boxeth.
The attorney maintained that O'Neal knew the sentencing was going to be postponed because Boxeth hadn't received the probation report in a timely fashion and couldn't prepare a statement in mitigation.
The attorney said she had no idea who bailed the defendant out of custody. She said O'Neal had been sober for five years before falling off the wagon and drinking on New Year's Eve at his Ramona home, where he was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence.
No one was injured in the Dec. 31 incident, his attorney said, adding that checking into a residential rehabilitation facility was "a responsible thing to do."
But Deputy District Attorney Vanessa DuVall requested a $250,000 warrant for O'Neal's arrest, saying the defendant pushed his wife out of the way in an attempt to drink and drive. He has been charged with misdemeanor battery.
O'Neal pleaded guilty in November to DUI causing injury and being a felon in possession of a gun and admitted a 1992 conviction for shooting into his ex-girlfriend's unoccupied vehicle.
He faces a sentence between probation and four years in prison. O'Neal was on probation for a 2007 DUI conviction when the accident occurred last Aug. 2 about 1 p.m. near San Diego Safari Park. He was arrested a month later.
DuVall said Griffin was charged after toxicology tests showed he had amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana and Xanax in his system at the time of the crash. She said a loaded firearm, a shotgun and ammunition for both were found in O'Neal's car.
Boxeth told a judge last year that her client was trying to come to the aid of his 26-year-old half-brother when he got behind the wheel the day of the accident.
Redmond O'Neal, son of Ryan O'Neal and the late Farrah Fawcett, was arrested in Santa Monica the same day, after police found heroin in his car during a traffic stop. He has a lengthy history of drug problems.
Griffin O'Neal appeared in several films in his younger years, including "Escape Artist," "April Fool's Day" and "Assault of the Killer Bimbos."
He drew an 18-day jail sentence in 1987 for failing to perform community service after he was convicted of reckless boating in an accident that killed the son of director Francis Ford Coppola.
The San Diego Rescue Mission opened its doors to the homeless community on Saturday for its annual Thanksgiving celebration.
A man died after his body caught fire, police said Saturday. At 11:30 p.m. Friday, police received a call regarding a person on fire in a field near 5200 Pacific Highway in Mission Bay Park, according to the San Diego Police Department.
Hoping for the best but preparing for the worst, local business owners and first responders teamed up for an all-to-real feeling hazard drill on Saturday.
A 5-year-old girl who was abducted from New York by her 32-year-old mother, who does not have custody of the child, was found safe Saturday in San Diego, police said.
Before Saturday, Marine veteran Joshua Ray, his wife and six children had just one vehicle to use for all of their family business, and Ray had to take the train from Oceanside to San Diego every day to get to work.
A sea of pink will travel through San Diego starting Friday for the Susan G. Komen San Diego 3-Day. The 60 mile journey kicks off early Friday morning and ends Sunday evening at the final destination – the celebratory Closing Ceremony.
A man arrested on suspicion of committing a murder in Imperial Beach earlier this week remained jailed Saturday.
Spencer Abbott had two goals and two assists after missing two games and Eric Fehr scored twice in his debut with the San Diego Gulls in an 8-3 victory over the Tucson Roadrunners Friday night.
On Friday, a fourth woman came forward with disturbing allegations of sexual assault by a San Diego County Sheriff’s Deputy.
Malcolm Young, the rhythm guitarist and guiding force behind the bawdy hard rock band AC/DC who helped create such head-banging anthems as "Highway to Hell," ''Hell's Bells" and "Back in Black," has died.