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'Cheers' Actor Kelsey Grammer Sentenced to Jail, Highway Labor

May 17, 1990|PATRICIA KLEIN LERNER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Despite a plea by fellow "Cheers" star Kirstie Alley, TV actor Kelsey Grammer was sentenced Wednesday to 30 days in jail and 10 days of collecting highway trash because he violated probation by failing to attend an alcohol abuse program.

Grammer is scheduled to appear before another judge in the same court Monday to face a preliminary hearing on a cocaine possession charge.

Grammer, 35, a resident of Van Nuys, plays Dr. Frasier Crane on the popular NBC series.

He was given until May 24 to get his personal affairs in order before reporting to jail. The highway work will be performed for Caltrans.

Van Nuys Municipal Court Commissioner Patricia Gorner Schwartz also ordered Grammer to attend the alcohol education program, which he had earlier agreed to complete as a condition of probation for drunk driving.

An arrest warrant had been issued for Grammer on Feb. 6 after he failed to complete 10 days of community service and the alcohol program imposed after he pleaded no contest after a 1987 drunk-driving arrest in Van Nuys.

Alley told the judge that she does not condone drunk driving and that her own mother was killed by a drunk driver. She said she grappled with a drug problem herself years ago. Nonetheless, she asked that Grammer be spared jail and allowed to participate in an educational program, such as Narconon.

Grammer's attorney, Robert L. Diamond, also asked for leniency for his client, saying Grammer suffered from personal problems that kept him from attending the class.

Deputy City Atty. Janet Ramos made no sentencing recommendation.

Schwartz said she believed that jail was appropriate.

Grammer is scheduled to appear Monday before Municipal Judge Aviva K. Bobb to face a preliminary hearing on an April, 1988, cocaine possession charge.

Bobb issued an arrest warrant for Grammer on May 12 after he failed to appear in court with proof that he had attended a drug abuse program. The course would have allowed Grammer, as a first-time drug offender, to avoid jail and expunge the arrest from his record.

He now faces a maximum three-year jail term in that case.

Grammer said last week that he did not attend the course because his girlfriend recently underwent surgery for a seizure disorder and needed him to care for her.

Grammer remained free on $17,500 bail.

James Burrows, executive producer and creator of "Cheers," said Grammer's legal problems will not prevent him from continuing to work on the show, which will begin filming next season's episodes in August.

"Kelsey will be back. I'm looking forward to working with him. He is a man of special talent--incredible talent," Burrows said.

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