Judge cancels Rod Stewart’s trial, sets plea deal hearing
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A Florida judge has canceled the trial for rock icon Rod Stewart and his adult son and scheduled a hearing next month to discuss a plea deal to resolve charges stemming from a New Year’s Eve altercation with a hotel security guard nearly two years ago.
Court records show the hearing with Judge August Bonavita is set for Oct. 22 regarding a plea agreement to close the case without them needing to appear in court. The trial had been scheduled to begin Tuesday but was canceled on Thursday.
If convicted, the Stewarts were facing a year in jail, or probation and a $1,000 fine. The terms of the agreement are not clear yet, and attorney Guy Fronstin did not respond to an email and phone call seeking comment.
The Stewarts’ battery charges have taken long to resolve because of the pandemic and settlement negotiations.
The London-born singer of 70s hits such as “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” and “Maggie May” is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2016.
Stewart and his son are accused of pushing and shoving security guard Jessie Dixon at the upscale The Breakers Hotel on Dec. 31, 2019, because he wouldn’t let them into a New Year’s Eve party.
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Dixon told Palm Beach police officers the Stewart’s group was at the check-in table for a private party they weren’t authorized to attend, a police report said.
Dixon said the group became loud and began causing a scene. Dixon, then 33, told investigators he put his hand on the younger Stewart’s chest and told him to back up and make space.
That’s when Sean Stewart, the rock star’s son, got “nose to nose” with Dixon.
Sean Stewart, now 41, then shoved Dixon backwards. Rod Stewart, now 76, punched Dixon in his “left rib cage area” with a closed fist, prosecutors allege.
Sean Stewart told investigators he became agitated when they were not able to attend the event “due to Dixon’s interaction with him and his family.”
Two Breakers employees who were working the private event told police they saw Sean Stewart push Dixon and Rod Stewart punch the guard.
The arresting officer said he viewed security footage at the hotel and determined that the Stewarts were the “primary aggressors.”