SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A judge recalled a bench warrant Friday for Griffin O'Neal, the oldest son of actor Ryan O'Neal, when he came to court a day after failing to show up to be sentenced for driving on drugs and causing a head-on crash in North County.
O'Neal, 47, did not come to court on Thursday because he checked himself into a rehabilitation facility after bailing out of jail on a misdemeanor battery charge involving alleged domestic violence against his wife, according to defense attorney Heather Boxeth.
On Friday, Judge Eugenia Eyherabide reset O'Neal's sentencing for Feb. 3. She said the defendant could remain in the rehab facility until then.
Boxeth 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.
No one was injured in the Dec. 31 incident, according to his attorney, who said checking into a residential rehabilitation facility was "a responsible thing to do." A readiness conference on that case is set for Tuesday in El Cajon.
Deputy District Attorney Vanessa DuVall said the defendant pushed his wife out of the way in an attempt to drink and drive on Dec. 31.
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 anywhere between probation and four years in prison.
O'Neal was on probation for a 2007 DUI conviction when the crash occurred last Aug. 2 about 1 p.m. near San Diego Safari Park. Both drivers were injured and O'Neal 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.
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