*Remember back in 2011 when Patti LaBelle‘s bodyguard put a serious whippin’ on a West Point cadet named Richard King?
Well, the bodyguard, Efrem Holmes was charged with assault and the case is now being tried in a Houston courtroom.
However, Holmes’ attorneys say he was just defending Labelle and her son, Zuri Edwards. King testified he doesn’t remember what happened. He had a blood alcohol level of .28.
On Friday – Edwards, LaBelle’s son – said he felt he was in “danger” the night he said a man (King) tried to get into his mother’s limo at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport.
Efrem Holmes, 45, the bodyguard, then took the stand. He surprised the courtroom, when he began to tear up, reports Houston TV station KHOU.
When his attorney asked why he was so emotional, the 6-foot-3, 350 pound man said, “I’m trying to figure out why those pictures weren’t in there before.”
He was referring to grainy still photos which had been enhanced by the defense. They were taken from surveillance video, purportedly showing Richard King in a scuffle with the body guard and LaBelle’s son.
Holmes said he was trying to keep the West Point Cadet from getting into LaBelle’s limo.
King, who was 23 at the time, denied starting the fight, but admitted he had been drinking before walking up to the limo.
On the stand, Holmes said he heard King tell someone on his cell phone, “This (expletive) black guy won’t let me in the car.”
The body guard said he pushed King with an open hand to get him away, but never struck him.
King went down and hit a pillar with his head and ended up in the hospital
LaBelle herself testified Thursday that she and her son, who works as her manager, had just arrived in Houston with Holmes. She said Edwards was loading luggage into an SUV for a trip to a performance at a Louisiana casino when King staggered up to the limousine in which she sat.
King jiggled the door handle to try to enter the limousine and called her names when Edwards intervened, according to LaBelle. King punched Edwards, and Holmes punched King, she said.
“Nobody was trying to hit that kid,” said LaBelle, 69. “He started everything.”
Prosecutors have shown surveillance video showing Edwards chest-bumping King, drawing a punch from King, and Holmes punching King three times in the face. LaBelle’s hairdresser then got between the two and hit King.
Meanwhile, as we reported, King, now 25, has filed a lawsuit against the Grammy Award-winning entertainer and Holmes. LaBelle has countersued.