Ex-MLB player Royce Clayton, caught up in Rebecca Grossman’s murder trial, arrested on suspicion of DUI

Baseball players kneel on the field as two men stand nearby.
Oaks Christian coach Royce Clayton addresses his team in 2023.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

Retired Major League Baseball player Royce Clayton was arrested early Sunday on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to booking records.

Clayton, a former shortstop and current baseball coach at Oaks Christian School in Westlake Village, was recently caught up in the drama surrounding Hidden Hills socialite Rebecca Grossman, who is charged with murder in the deaths of two young boys in a Westlake Village crosswalk.

He testified at her trial that he drank margaritas with Grossman and her then-lover, former Dodgers pitcher Scott Erickson, in September 2020 before the pair went on to drive through the crosswalk where Mark and Jacob Iskander, ages 11 and 8, were struck and killed.


Clayton was taken into custody Sunday shortly before 12:30 a.m. by Ventura County sheriff’s deputies. He was booked on suspicion of driving under the influence at 2:55 a.m. cited and released, booking records show.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office did not identify the person arrested as the former player, but his booking date of birth matches that of Clayton, records show. A news release about a DUI operation in Thousand Oaks on Saturday night to Sunday morning identified Clayton as one of two people arrested. The checkpoints were operated from 6 to 11 p.m at Hampshire Road and Evenstar Avenue and from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Westlake Boulevard and Cascade Avenue.

Both locations are a couple of miles from where L.A. County prosecutors allege Grossman struck and killed the boys on Triunfo Canyon Road.

Clayton could not immediately be reached for comment. Oaks Christian said they do not comment on employee matters.

Clayton was one of the first witnesses in Grossman’s trial. He told jurors on Jan. 29 that he had had wine with Erickson at the Stonehaus winery in Westlake Village and then met up later with Erickson and Grossman at Julio’s Agave Grill. He testified that Grossman drank a margarita and Erickson a couple of margaritas before the group decided to go watch a presidential debate at Grossman’s Westlake Village home.

The prosecution has rested and the defense will begin presenting its case this week in the murder trial of Rebecca Grossman, charged in the deaths of two young boys in a traffic collision in Westlake Village.

Feb. 13, 2024

Clayton said, however, he never drove to her home. The baseball coach testified that he learned of the fatal collision after speaking with Erickson by phone a few hours later.

Grossman’s lead defense attorney, Tony Buzbee, has repeatedly told jurors that Erickson is responsible for the deaths of the Iskander brothers. He has said that the retired baseball player’s black Mercedes sped through the intersection first, hitting Jacob and then Mark, whose body was thrown high into the air before landing in the path of Grossman’s white Mercedes.


On the witness stand last month, Clayton was asked by Buzbee whether he was still friends with Erickson, who has denied any wrongdoing. Clayton said he was not.

“I have kids,” Clayton said. “I just don’t understand how he could be so negligent and be responsible for running down kids.”

A few days later, Clayton asked prosecutors to return to the witness stand to clarify for jurors he was not saying Erickson hit the boys. The request was denied and the shortstop left the courthouse expressing disgust over the decision.