Heavy metal rocker Nikki Sixx was convicted Thursday of inciting a riot and assaulting a security guard at a Greensboro concert in 1997.
Sixx pleaded no contest to three misdemeanor charges for kicking security guard John Allen in the head and urging fans to attack him. He was given a 30-day suspended jail sentence and put on probation.Sixx, who wore blue jeans and a black leather jacket, sat in the front row of the courtroom awaiting his court hearing. A few attorneys and clerks came to see the famous bass player, but he didn't attract as much attention as his former Motley Crue cohort and co-defendant Tommy Lee did when he appeared in court here last week.
Both men faced criminal charges stemming from the concert on Oct. 30, 1997, at the Greensboro Coliseum. Allen claims that band members shouted racial slurs at him and incited the crowd to attack him. He says Sixx kicked him and spit on him and that Lee poured a cup of beer on his head.
Several fans were removed from the concert when the crowd became rowdy.
A year later, Allen and his employer, Show Pros Entertainment, filed a federal lawsuit against Sixx, Lee and Motley Crue Touring. It is scheduled for trial during the first week of April.
Allen, who is black, says he was working the barricade area in front of the stage when the incident began. He had been keeping fans in their proper area and making sure they did not block anyone's view, when he says Sixx began to shout obscenities at him.
The lawsuit states that Sixx told the man in charge of lighting to turn the spotlight on Allen and began shouting racially charged remarks.
Allen says he was forced to climb on the stage to protect himself from the crowd. Portions of the concert were later televised on MTV.
But at the court hearing Thursday, Sixx was able to give his side of the story through his attorney.
Joe Williams, a Greensboro lawyer who defended Sixx, told the court that Sixx regrets what he said that night.
Since then, Sixx has had no similar incidents at more than 300 concerts, Williams said. Sixx became ``outraged' that night after he saw the security guard manhandling the crowd.
``The security guard was out there roughing up people, including women,' Williams said. ``He (Sixx) is here today to accept responsibility. But the security guard never accepted responsibility for his actions.'
Allen did not attend the hearing. Assistant District Attorney John Nieman, who handled the case, said he called Allen's attorney to let him know about the court hearing. Allen also never returned a victim impact statement.
According to the plea bargain, Nieman reduced a felony charge of riot with ethnic intimidation, to a misdemeanor inciting a riot. It was consolidated with the other two misdemeanor charges of simple assault and disorderly conduct.
Sixx pleaded no contest to the three charges. This is treated as a guilty plea, but Sixx does not have to admit guilt.
Frye gave Sixx a 30-day suspended jail sentence and 18 months of unsupervised probation. He ordered him to pay a $150 fine and court costs.
Tommy Lee received a similar sentence from Frye last week - a suspended jail sentence, unsupervised probation and a small fine.
Nieman said he offered the plea bargain because it would have been difficult to prove a key element of the felony charge.
``We would have to prove that he did it because (Allen) was black,' he said. ``That would have been highly unlikely to prove.'
But Nieman also mentioned that even if Allen had manhandled fans, it is not a defense for Sixx's actions.