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Texas Jury Acquits Patti LaBelle’s Bodyguard Of Assault

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HOUSTON (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Singer Patti LaBelle’s bodyguard has been acquitted misdemeanor assault in a confrontation with a drunken West Point cadet at a Houston airport terminal.

A Harris County jury returned its verdict Monday clearing Efrem Holmes in the 2011 confrontation with Richard King at a Bush Intercontinental Airport terminal.

According to trial evidence, King had a blood-alcohol level almost 3½ times above the Texas legal threshold for intoxication and didn’t remember what happened the day of the incident. According to testimony and surveillance video, King approached a limousine containing LaBelle and verbally abused the performer when her son tried to block his way. King punched him, and Holmes sprang up and punched King several times.

King filed a lawsuit against the singer and Holmes. LaBelle countersued.

Patti Labelle was in North Texas earlier this month. The singer performed at the Black Tie Dinner, an annual fundraiser for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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