Actor Robert Conrad partially paralyzed from car accident; court appearance postponed

Wednesday, May 7th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SAN ANDREAS, Calif. (AP) _ An arraignment for actor Robert Conrad, who's accused of felony drunk driving, has been postponed a month because he's partially paralyzed on his right side.

Conrad, best known for his roles in ``Baa Baa Black Sheep'' and ``The Wild Wild West,'' was to have been arraigned Tuesday on two drunk driving charges. A judge continued the hearing until June 10.

Calaveras County District Attorney Jeffrey Tuttle said he received a letter from a Santa Clara Valley Medical Center doctor indicating Conrad was suffering from paralysis and sustained a head injury in a March 31 car accident.

Lavelda Conrad said her husband also suffered a spinal cord injury in the head-on collision.

Conrad's blood-alcohol level was above 0.20 percent, nearly three times the legal limit, when he crashed into another vehicle on Highway 4 near Arnold, injuring Kevin Burnett of Forest Meadows, according to a criminal complaint filed last month.

Burnett, 26, since has been released from the hospital and was recovering at home, his father said Tuesday. Fred Burnett said his son has a broken wrist and leg.

After the court hearing, Conrad's wife said her husband also has just 40 percent use of his left arm and is confined to a wheelchair but can ``take some steps'' with help.

Lavelda Conrad said her husband has suffered short-term memory loss because of his head injury; he has no recollection of the accident and his speech has been affected.

She characterized her husband of 25 years as ``very depressed'' and said he's taking medication.

Lavelda Conrad said her husband is 68, but court records indicate he is 73.