Jim Lampley Denies Felony Allegations

The Associated Press
Thursday, January 4, 2007; 8:57 PM

LOS ANGELES -- Sports announcer Jim Lampley denied wrongdoing Thursday after being arrested for investigation of felony domestic violence.

The 57-year-old Lampley was taken into custody Wednesday and booked on the felony charge and investigation of violating a restraining order and dissuading a witness, both misdemeanors, said Mary Helmen, the supervisor of investigators of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department's domestic violence unit.

Sheriff's Capt. Glenn Revell said Lampley was released from the Vista Detention Facility after posting $35,500 bail.

"The circumstances are that there was an altercation between Mr. Lampley and a 28-year-old female with whom he reportedly has a dating relationship," said Revell, adding he could release no additional details pending the presentation of a completed investigation to the district attorney's office.

According to court records, Candice Sanders wrote in an application for a restraining order that Lampley attacked her in her Encinitas apartment on New Year's Eve.

"I received injuries to my head, neck and back from his throwing me against the walls and door," she wrote.

Sanders, Miss California USA 2003, also alleged that Lampley had been drinking and smoking marijuana before attacking her. She also claimed he threw her to the floor at a New York restaurant two months ago.

"I am terrified that he will harm me unless he is restrained," Sanders wrote.

Helmen wouldn't comment on specifics of the case except to say there was a witness to the alleged altercation.

Lampley is scheduled to be arraigned next Wednesday at the Vista Courthouse. And he is due in court the following day for a hearing on whether the temporary restraining order granted Tuesday should be extended.

"I am innocent of the charge of domestic abuse that has been leveled against me and will vigorously defend myself," Lampley said in a statement issued through spokesman Howard Bragman. "I have tremendous respect for the justice system as a whole and for the San Diego courts and district attorney's office specifically.

"I'm confident that the process will prove that I'm not guilty of this charge. I thank my friends and family for their support during this difficult time, and ask for the understanding and patience from the media until my legal situation allows me to discuss this in more depth."

Bragman said he was unable to comment further because of legal considerations. He said Lampley's attorney is Thomas Warwick of San Diego.

Sheriff's Sgt. Brian McCauley said Lampley was arrested in Encinitas for violation of a restraining order.

"He had a disagreement with his live-in girlfriend earlier in the week, she obtained a restraining order from San Diego Superior Court," McCauley said. "The order basically told him he needed to stay 100 yards away from the residence and her.

"Yesterday, the domestic violence detectives were at the residence conducting a followup interview when he showed up at the residence. He was placed under arrest for violating the restraining order."

Lampley began his broadcasting career began with ABC in the mid-1970s. He later worked for CBS and NBC and more recently as a boxing commentator for HBO. He currently appears as himself in the movie "Rocky Balboa."

Linda Lee, the first of Lampley's three former wives and a professor in the school of journalism at the University of Kansas, said by telephone that she couldn't believe any accusation of violence against him.

"He's like nobody else. I adore him," Lee said. "We've been friends since we were kids. We grew up together. We were married for a while. We're still friends. When I heard this, it was just unimaginable.

"I know the man, I've known him for years. He's not capable of striking a woman, in my opinion. I've never seen him strike anything or anyone. I've never seen him strike a pillow, that's not his nature. He's a very gentle man and very even-tempered."

© 2007 The Associated Press