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Jan-Michael Vincent Ordered to Stand Trial

November 22, 1985 GMT

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Jan-Michael Vincent, star of the television series ″Airwolf,″ was ordered Thursday to stand trial on a charge of beating a woman at his Malibu home.

Municipal Court Judge David Horowitz set a Dec. 4 trial in Santa Monica Superior Court, said court clerk Therese Hokoyama.

The ruling followed a preliminary hearing at which Chenoa Lee Ellis, 34, of Malibu testified that Vincent attacked her the day after he got drunk and she and the actor’s girlfriend took cocaine.

Ms. Ellis, who testified under a grant of immunity from prosecution during the hearing, was the only witness called by the state before it rested its case.

Vincent, 40, is charged with one count of felony battery and two counts of violating probation.

Under cross-examination, Ms. Ellis told defense attorney Ronald Carpol that Vincent became angry and punched her in the mouth the morning of Sept. 6 when she tried to console him about problems with his girlfriend, Joanne Robinson.

″He was getting increasingly madder at me. ... He was holding himself in a ball on the couch and yelling with his hands over his head,″ Ms. Ellis told defense attorney Ronald Carpol.

″He asked, ‘What does the world want from me?’ and he threatened to set his house on fire,″ she said.

Ms. Ellis suffered a broken nose and split lip that required 16 stitches. Carpol contends she was injured in a fall.

On the night before the alleged attack, Vincent and the two women went from his Malibu home to a bar and then to a friend’s house in Montecito, with the actor drinking from a bottle of vodka, Ms. Ellis said.

She said she and Ms. Robinson were taking cocaine at the same time, and that they left Vincent sitting asleep on the couch for fear he would awaken in a rage.

Ms. Ellis said an argument between Vincent and his girlfriend broke out the next morning on the beach near his house.

She said she went back to the actor’s home, where he became angry at her for allegedly interfering with the relationship.

Testifying for the defense was Dr. Susan Reynolds, owner and director of the Malibu Emergency Room where Ms. Ellis was treated.

She said Ms. Ellis appeared disoriented, possibly from drugs, when she was treated and might have been hurt tripping over a telephone cord.


Vincent pleaded guilty July 10 to disturbing the peace by fighting at a November 1984 party and was placed on three years’ probation. He was also placed on probation in December 1983 for drunken driving.

Last May, Vincent was acquitted of separate counts of battery stemming from an altercation at a bar.