On this day, April 12, in 2000, 71-year-old retired character actor Robert Cleaves was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 16 years in prison for a road-rage killing.
Witnesses testified that the men had exchanged insults after a near collision and that Cleaves chased the other vehicle through downtown Santa Monica, Calif. The other driver, 38-year-old movie company employee Arnold Guerreiro, stopped and got out of his vehicle.
Witnesses' curiosity turned to horror as Cleaves hit the gas and struck Guerreiro, who bounced off the hood of Cleaves' car. Cleaves then ran over him twice, dragging Guerreiro for 350 feet.
Cleaves, who appeared in "Dragnet," "Brett Maverick," "The Streets of San Francisco" and other television shows, was sentenced to the maximum amount of prison time.
- Scott McCabe