Ex-NBA star Rodman gets three years probation on driving charges
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[February 07, 2017]
(Reuters) - Former pro
basketball star Dennis Rodman pleaded guilty and was sentenced to
three years' informal probation on Monday on charges that he drove
the wrong way on a California highway, forcing another car to swerve
into a concrete dividing wall.
Rodman was also sentenced to 30 hours of community service and
ordered to donate $500 to a victim witness emergency fund, the
Orange County District Attorney's Office said.
Rodman's attorney, Paul Meyer, said in an emailed statement: "We
appreciate the careful review of the district attorney to make the
right call." Meyer said the incident was caused by "poor sign
placement" on the roadway.
Prosecutors initially charged Rodman, 55, with hit-and-run that
causes property damage, driving a motor vehicle across a dividing
section, giving false information to a police officer and driving
without a valid license.
Rodman, a National Basketball Association forward with teams
including the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls, drove his sport
utility vehicle the wrong way on Interstate 5 in Santa Ana early on
July 20, prosecutors said.
The driver of a sedan going the correct way swerved to avoid a
head-on collision with Rodman's SUV and slammed into a concrete wall
along the carpool lane, prosecutors said. Meyer said the crash was
documented as a non-injury collision.
The driver of the sedan called 911 and California Highway Patrol
officers responded. When they arrived, Rodman had driven away,
Investigators determined Rodman was the SUV driver but when they
eventually spoke to him, he gave false information about the
incident, prosecutors said.
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Former NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman speaks to the media after
returning from his trip to North Korea at Beijing airport, December
23, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo
The hit-and-run charge was later discharged after the court accepted
a civil compromise between Rodman and the victim, prosecutors said.
Rodman pleaded guilty to the remaining three misdemeanors on Monday
afternoon in an Orange County Court.
The district attorney's office said Rodman was ordered to pay
restitution as part of his sentence, but Meyer said the restitution
had already been deemed completed.
Rodman, nicknamed "The Worm" during his playing career, is
considered one of the best defensive players and rebounders in NBA
history. He won five league championships with Detroit and Chicago
and is a member of basketball's Hall of Fame.
He was convicted at least twice of driving under the influence, in
2000 and 2004, according to media reports at the time.
Rodman made international headlines in 2013 by visiting North Korea,
where he socialized with the country's leader, Kim Jong-un.
(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Diane
Craft and Peter Cooney)
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