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.