Celebrity bodyguard found not guilty of assault

Jurors are deliberating their verdict in the misdemeanor case
November 11, 2013 3:37:06 PM PST
Jurors decided a bodyguard for singer Patti LaBelle accused of assaulting a West Point cadet is not guilty. The incident was caught on video at Bush Intercontinental Airport more than two years ago. Jurors began deliberating Monday afternoon.

The four men and two women of the jury spent hours behind closed doors on Monday afternoon.

Efrem Holmes breathed a sigh of relief as the verdict was read. Holmes, who's a bodyguard to soul singer Patti LaBelle, was accused of beating up Richard King during a confrontation outside Bush Intercontinental Airport. King was a West Point cadet at the time.

Alternate juror Margaret Curry said, "It was a lot of evidence, but it was unbelievable."

Curry spent the last week as an alternate juror in the trial, analyzing testimony and evidence. She was dismissed by the judge as the jurors went into their deliberations.

That evidence included airport surveillance video of what prosecutors described as the melee between King, who had a blood alcohol level of .28, and LaBelle's entourage back in March 2011.

Curry says witnesses prosecutors called during the trial failed to convince her, due to their conflicting stories.

"I think a lot of the state's evidence was untrue," she said. "A lot of the witnesses seemed to be unbelievable."

Prosecutors argue King was on the phone when he approached LaBelle and her team outside the airport. Holmes and several other witnesses say the 6-foot, 3-inch, 350 pound bodyguard rushed King after the man got too close to LaBelle's limo, allegedly cursing the singer, calling her derogatory names and assaulting her son.

Prosecutors told Curry and the jurors King was on the phone waiting for his family to pick him up. They claimed Holmes' actions did not justify self-defense. Curry says, based on the evidence, she disagreed.

"The fact that of King being .285, that says a whole lot, that a lot of this could have been danger on his side," Curry said.

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