Guard not guilty

Patti LaBelle bodyguard found not guilty of assaulting West Point cadet

Patti LaBelle bodyguard found not guilty of assaulting cadet

Patti LaBelle and Efrem Holmes arriving at a party in 2009
LaBelle with bodyguard Efrem Holmes (File photo) GospelConnoisseur.com
Richard King West Point cadet who was beaten by Patti LaBelle bodyguard
Richard King says he was attacked for no reason in 2011, while LaBelle and her entourage claim he shouted racial slurs at the singer. Photo courtesy of KHOU Houston/Channel 11
Efram Holmes Patti LaBell bodyguard in Houston courtroom November 2013
Holmes, show in a Harris County criminal court, was found not guilty on Monday. Photo courtesy of KHOU Houston/Channel 11
Patti LaBelle in Houston for bodyguard trial November 2013
LaBelle appeared in court, bolstering testimony that King had hurled racial slurs and punched her son.  Photo courtesy of KHOU Houston/Channel 11
Patti LaBelle and Efrem Holmes arriving at a party in 2009
Richard King West Point cadet who was beaten by Patti LaBelle bodyguard
Efram Holmes Patti LaBell bodyguard in Houston courtroom November 2013
Patti LaBelle in Houston for bodyguard trial November 2013

A bodyguard for legendary singer Patti LaBelle has been found not guilty for a 2011 incident involving an intoxicated military cadet at Bush Intercontinental Airport.

For more than two years, Houston native Richard King has claimed he was the victim of an unprovoked attack led by security guard Efrem Holmes as he approached the singer's limousine outside Terminal C. Then 23 and in his final year at West Point, King had a blood-alcohol level three times the legal limit at the time of the fight, details of which he says he can't recall.

A parade of witnesses, including LaBelle herself, testified last week that the brawl started after King hurled several racial slurs at the Grammy-winner performer. When asked to stop by LaBelle's son Zuri Edwards — who was driving the limo — King punched him in the face. Holmes stepped in, injuring King by pushing him into a concrete pillar.

The drunken cadet was arrested for assault and briefly expelled from West Point before video surveillance surfaced suggesting that LaBelle’s bodyguard may have been the instigator. Holmes was then charged with the attack, prompting King to launch a million-dollar civil lawsuit against LaBelle and her entourage.

On Monday, jurors acquitted Holmes after four hours of deliberation.

Meanwhile, LaBelle has filed countersuit against King, highlighting his violent behavior and tirade of alleged racial slurs. The case has been sent to a federal court and goes to trial in September 2014.
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