Griffin O'Neal Rushing to Help Brother Before Crash: Attorney

Both sons of Ryan O'Neal were arrested within hours of each other in August

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBCSanDiego
    Griffin O'Neal appears in a San Diego courtroom on Oct. 6, 2011.

    Actor Ryan O'Neal's oldest son, Griffin O'Neal, who faces a felony charge for a head-on crash, was on his way to help his just-arrested brother Redmond at the time of the accident his defense attorney said.

    The details were revealed when Griffin O'Neal, 46, appeared in a downtown San Diego courtroom Thursday and pleaded not guilty to a felony drug charge.

    O'Neal was allegedly on drugs when his car veered into oncoming traffic on San Pasqual Valley Road and collided head-on with a van Aug. 2.

    Xanax, cocaine, marijuana and amphetamines were found to be in his system at the time of his crash, prosecutors said.

    Responding officers found a loaded gun, a shotgun, ammunition and rock cocaine inside the defendant's car prosecutors said.

    Griffin O'Neal was on probation for a 2007 DUI conviction at the time of the crash.

    O'Neal was hospitalized for injuries he received in the head-on collision. His attorney said O'Neal was discharged the same night of the accident and was not arrested by police until a warrant was issued days after the crash.

    O'Neal has a degenerative bone disease and uses a cane when he walks and sometimes uses a wheelchair, according to his attorney. She also said some of the medicine found in her client's system at the time of the crash are taken as treatment for his disease.

    O'Neal was released on $35,000 bail. He faces 11 and a half years in prison if convicted.

    The crash involving Griffin O'Neal happened about five hours after Redmond O'Neal was arrested in Santa Monica with heroin in his car.

    Redmond O'Neal admitted to the probation violation on Sept. 15 in a Los Angeles courtroom. He's scheduled to be sentenced Friday, Oct. 7.

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