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Angeles County | Official Business / Courts and Government

Charges Against Chief's Daughter Dismissed

October 14, 1998

Drug charges were dismissed Tuesday against the daughter of Los Angeles Police Chief Bernard C. Parks after prosecutors determined that she unknowingly became involved in a drug deal when she gave a ride to man she had met.

The attorney for Michelle Lynette Parks said the decision was proof that his client was an unknowing participant in an undercover drug deal.

The charges were dismissed by Justice of the Peace Nancy Oesterle at the request of Clark County Chief Deputy Atty. Scott Mitchell.

After Tuesday's brief court hearing, Parks, 37, said she had been wrongly accused.

She had been charged in a Sept. 3 warrant with one count of conspiracy to sell cocaine and one count of trafficking. She was accused of conspiring with an accomplice to sell 20 grams of cocaine to an undercover Las Vegas police officer in June.

Parks allegedly drove the suspect to the transaction.

Her attorney, Stan Walton, said his client simply offered 21-year-old Reginald Gathwright a ride and was unaware he was involved in any alleged drug deal.

Parks, who lives in Los Angeles, was visiting in Las Vegas at the time.

"The big lesson she learned was to be more careful with the people she associates with," Walton said. "She was trying to be kind to a person who needed a ride and that's what she did."

Walton said there was no evidence Parks committed a crime or had any knowledge that a crime was being committed.

Parks declined comment except to criticize the news media for what she described as "lies" about her role in the incident.

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