'Road Rules' Donell Langham fights the law (again) ... and the law wins
By Wade Paulsen, 11/04/2003
Some people never learn. Meet Donell Langham from MTV's Road Rules: South Pacific.
Back in June, we reported that Donell, a 21-year-old native of Boston, had been arrested in July 2002 for battering his 17-year-old girlfriend, Erin Soper, and a restraining order was issued against him. Despite that, he was cast on Road Rules: South Pacific, where he created constant controversy and ultimately was booted after botching a mission. Upon his return in April 2003, he soon violated the restraining order. The Boston Herald reported that Donell threatened Erin, telling her that ``if she didn't drop the charges he wasn't sure what would happen,'' in the words of an assistant district attorney.
He was scheduled for trial on Sept. 29, but he didn't show, and then he also missed a rescheduled date of Oct. 22, leading to warrants for his arrest being issued. Perhaps he skipped trial because his defense, that the charges against him were "because of the whole black thing,'' wasn't going to play very well after he couldn't persuade Erin to drop the charges -- and perhaps he couldn't persuade her because of his earlier public statements that he was only pretending to be interested in her so that she'd drop the charges.
Fast forward to the morning of October 25, around 4:35 AM. According to the Newton Daily News Tribune, Donell was visiting friends on the Lasell College campus when he became involved in a dispute which turned into a brawl. When police arrived, Donell was at the scene -- and, although he wasn't arrested for his role in the brawl, he was arrested on the outstanding warrants for assault and battery, intimidation of a witness and threatening to commit a crime.
Donell spent the weekend in the slammer and then was hauled into court on Monday morning, where he pled guilty to the charges against him. He was sentenced to a year's probation and 40 weeks of attendance at a domestic batterers' program. In addition, he was ordered to stay away from Erin.
Case over? Lesson learned? Not with Donell. The "Inside Track" in the Boston Herald reports that within 24 hours of Donell being freed from custody, he was arrested again -- for violating the restraining order to stay away from Erin. So, two violations of the restraining order, two no-shows in court, participation in a brawl, and so little self-discipline that he couldn't stay out of jail for 24 hours after receiving probation. Uh, it looks like probation may not have been the appropriate sentence for Donell.