Singer Patti LaBelle’s bodyguard has been acquitted of a misdemeanor assault in a confrontation with a drunken West Point cadet at a Houston airport terminal.
A Harris County jury returned its verdict Monday clearing Efrem Holmes in the 2011 confrontation with Richard King at a Bush Intercontinental Airport terminal.
According to trial evidence, King had a blood-alcohol level almost 3 times above the Texas legal limit, forgot his actions of the evening and initiated the tussle that landed him in a local hospital. LaBelle testified that King was out looking for trouble and Holmes was merely defending her.
According to testimony and surveillance video, King approached a limousine containing LaBelle and verbally abused the performer, hurling racial slurs before her son, Zuri Edwards, tried to block his way. King punched Edwards, and Holmes sprang up and punched King several times.
A civil suit filed by King against both Holmes and LaBelle is still pending. LaBelle has countersued.