Rodney King Acquitted in Pennsylvania DUI Case
A Pennsylvania jury Friday acquitted Rodney G. King on a charge of drunk driving, after a distant relative claimed that it was he, and not King, who was driving a rental car that ran off the road last May in rural Lawrence County.
The jury deliberated for nearly seven hours before clearing King of the charge, which could have sent him to jail for 60 days in Pennsylvania and exposed him to up to six more months of jail time in Los Angeles County for violating the terms of an earlier DUI conviction.
Both the prosecutor and defense attorney in the Pennsylvania case said that a turning point came with the testimony of Sean Thompson, who said that he was driving the car and that King was merely a passenger. Thompson could not be located this week, but his testimony from a preliminary hearing was read to the jury.
King was the victim of a 1991 beating by Los Angeles police officers. The officers’ initial acquittal triggered the worst rioting in modern American history. King has since had several encounters with police, most of which did not lead to criminal charges. He is scheduled to go on trial in Alhambra next month for misdemeanor assault and spousal abuse.
Must-read stories from the L.A. Times
Get the day's top news with our Today's Headlines newsletter, sent every weekday morning.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.