Man Guilty in '92 Denny Attack Dies

Times Staff Writer

Antoine Eugene Miller, part of the mob that attacked trucker Reginald Denny in the first hours of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, died a week after being shot during an altercation outside a Hollywood nightclub, police said.

Miller was shot at 2:40 a.m. Super Bowl Sunday in a parking lot across from a nightclub in the 1600 block of Schrader Boulevard, said Los Angeles Police Department homicide Det. Mike Thrasher.

The 31-year-old was pronounced dead Sunday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, said Los Angeles County coroner's spokesman David Campbell. The cause of death was listed as complications from a single gunshot wound to the stomach.

According to authorities, Miller had an extensive criminal record that included arrests and convictions for gun possession, burglary, theft and assault.

But his criminal exploits would have gone largely unnoticed had it not been for the beating that was inflicted on Denny, who stopped his truck at Florence and Normandie avenues just after a Simi Valley jury had acquitted LAPD officers in the videotaped beating of Rodney G. King. The intersection became a flashpoint of the Los Angeles riots.

Miller was one of three suspects charged in that case.

In a scene captured on video footage from news helicopters above, Denny was pummeled, his skull shattered into roughly 100 fragments.

One doctor later compared Denny's injuries to being involved in a high-speed automobile accident without a seat belt.

Damian "Football" Williams was convicted of mayhem for hitting Denny in the head with a brick. He received a 10-year state prison sentence but was released about four years later.

Williams is now serving 30 years to life behind bars; he was convicted last May for fatally shooting a man in Southwest L.A.

Henry Keith Watson, who placed his foot on Denny's neck, received no jail time because the 17 months he had spent in Los Angeles County Jail was greater than the maximum penalty handed down in the case.

Miller was videotaped opening the door to Denny's truck. He spent 17 months in jail and was placed on 27 months' probation after pleading guilty to grand theft, receiving stolen property and assault in the Denny case.

Miller was arrested again in August 1994 for having a gun in his car and in 1995 received a six-month prison sentence.

Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding Miller's death. Numerous friends had accompanied Miller to Hollywood when he was shot in the early hours of Feb.1, Thrasher said.

At least 100 people might have witnessed the altercation and shooting, though none has come forward to tell his or her story to police.

"There was some kind of altercation between two groups," Thrasher said. "We are looking at it as if it could possibly be gang related."

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