Free-lance writer Christopher Van Ness, faced with a 10-day jail sentence for refusing to turn over a tape of a 1982 interview with Cathy Evelyn Smith about the death of comedian John Belushi, surrendered the recording today and agreed to testify at Smith's preliminary hearing on murder charges Friday.
Van Ness, who was handcuffed and led to a holding cell Wednesday afternoon to begin serving his contempt sentence, avoided serving the time by signing a court agreement while awaiting transportation to Los Angeles County Jail, according to Deputy Dist. Atty. Elden S. Fox. At a brief hearing today in Los Angeles Municipal Court, Van Ness also agreed to answer prosecution questions about the interview, which Fox says is crucial evidence in the case.
Writer ordered to jail, Part 2, Page 1.