Griffin O'Neal Sentenced to 16 Months in Prison

In the latest of a string of convictions over the years, actor Ryan O'Neal's son admitted causing an injury accident. Defense attorney says he has "serious substance abuse problems."

Actor Ryan O'Neal's son Griffin faces a 16-month prison sentence for driving under the influence of drugs and causing a head-on collision near San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

Griffin O'Neal, 47, pleaded guilty in November to driving under the influence of drugs and causing injury, and being a felon in possession of a gun. He also admitted to a 1992 conviction for shooting his ex-girlfriend's car.

In Friday's sentencing, Judge Eugenia Eyherabide used her judicial discretion to ignore the 1992 felony conviction for the purpose of sentencing, saying that it was 20 years old.

Eyherabide gave O'Neal a choice: 365 days in jail and have a suspended prison sentence of nearly three years, or 80 percent of a 16-month sentence. O'Neal chose the latter.

O'Neal was on probation for a 2007 DUI conviction when the Aug. 2 collision occurred on San Pasqual Valley Road. He was not arrested until about a month later.

Defense attorney Heather Boxeth said O'Neal's behavior was "inexcusable" and told the judge he had serious substance-abuse problems.

O'Neal was scheduled to be sentenced last month, but missed the court date because he had checked himself into an addiction treatment center after bailing out of jail on a misdemeanor battery charge involving his wife.

When O'Neal came to court the next day, Eyherabide told him he could stay at the treatment center until sentencing.

In court Friday, O'Neal apologized to Sergio Reveles, the driver he crashed into. Reveles suffered a back injury in the wreck.

"I really do want to make him whole again," O'Neal said.

Prosecutor Vanessa DuVall said toxicology tests detected metabolites for methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana and Xanax. Two guns and ammunition for them were found in O'Neal's car, she said.

O'Neal was also convicted of DUI in 1990, DuVall said.

Boxeth told a judge last year that O'Neal was driving to see his half- brother, 26-year-old Redmond O'Neal, when the accident happened.

In 1987, Griffin O'Neal, whose mother was the late actress Joanna Cook Moore, also mother to Tatum O'Neal, was given probation in a boating accident that killed Gian Carlo Coppola, son of director Francis Ford Coppola. His acting career includes 11 movies from 1976-1992.

-- City News Report


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