Culture

Longtime KTVU anchor Frank Somerville becomes the story, again, after new plea deal


OAKLAND — Frank Somerville, the longtime KTVU news anchor who lost his job after a well-publicized fall from grace, has pleaded no contest to alcohol-related reckless driving in a plea deal that dismisses most of the charges he racked up during disputes with family members last year, court records show.

Somerville pleaded no contest Monday to the lone charge, a misdemeanor, and to violating probation for a prior drunk driving case. The deal brings to a close a case that stemmed from Somerville’s two arrests within a nine-hour period last year. Family members accused Somerville of showing up drunk and fighting with them after he was asked to leave, which he denied.

In exchange for his no contest plea, Somerville will serve a 30-day jail sentence, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Charges of criminal threats, assault and trespassing were all dismissed. Somerville told the Chronicle he feels “vindicated” but admitted he made mistakes too.

Somerville, 66, anchored the 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts at the station from 2008 to 2021. His 31-year career at KTVU ended on Jan. 31, 2022, when his contract expired and the station opted not to bring him back. He already had been suspended by the station twice in 2021, once for slurring and stumbling over his words during a newscast.

He had been arrested a month earlier on suspicion of driving under the influence in Uptown Oakland after a car crash near his home. Somerville said in an interview at the time that he did not believe his arrest was a factor in KTVU’s decision.

In June 2023, police arrested Somerville on suspicion of making criminal threats, public intoxication, assault and a probation violation at a family member’s home in Berkeley. Nearly nine hours later, police said, they received another call from the same residence. Authorities said that after Somerville posted bail at the Berkeley jail, he went home and retrieved his vehicle. Police said he then returned to the family home to retrieve property he’d lost during the first encounter.

According to police, Somerville rang the doorbell non-stop until the person he fought with answered it. Police said that person spoke with Somerville, then called 911.

Officers responded and found Somerville sitting in his car, police said. According to police, he displayed objective physical signs of intoxication and was seen driving while under the influence. The officers then booked Somerville in Santa Rita Jail.

His attorney could not be reached for comment. A message sent to the DA’s office on Monday evening was not immediately returned.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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