Rip Torn Chooses Nonjury Trial In DWI Case

Actor Rip Torn wants a nonjury trial on a charge of driving while intoxicated, a county clerk said. The 76-year-old actor was charged on Dec. 4 after a crash on Hardscrabble Road in North Salem, a suburb about 60 miles north of New York City.

Torn, who lives in Lakeville, Conn., had lost control of his sedan and struck a tractor-trailer. Torn refused a sobriety test and was charged with DWI, state police said.

A court clerk told The Journal News recently that Torn had decided on the nonjury trial, scheduled for June.

The actor was initially represented by Adam Levy of Carmel, who is running for Putnam County district attorney and is the son of television's "Judge Judy" Sheindlin. But Levy said Torn has hired a new lawyer.

Photos: Celebrity Mug Shots
"We're waiting to confirm that he has new counsel. We did not put the case on the nonjury trial list," Levy told The Journal News.

Levy represented Torn in a 2004 drunken-driving case in New York City in which the actor was acquitted after jurors said the prosecution failed to prove that he was drinking before his fender-bender with a taxi.

Police videotape showed Torn berating police officers and refusing a sobriety test. Levy said Torn refused because he was angry, not drinking.

Torn's screen credits include the "Men in Black" movies. He was nominated for an Oscar for 1983's "Cross Creek," and won an Emmy Award in 1996 for playing the hard-drinking producer on TV's "The Larry Sanders Show."