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LL Cool J burglary suspect convicted of manslaughter in Texas

August 24, 2012 | 10:53 am

LL Cool J

A transient who allegedly broke into the home of LL Cool J was convicted of manslaughter in Texas more than two decades ago, according to court records.

Jonathan Kirby, 56, was charged with residential burglary with a person present, which in combination with his criminal history could result in significant prison time -- perhaps as much as 38 years in state prison.

A Texas native, Kirby has a record of thefts, disorderly conduct and other criminal activity across Los Angeles and Orange counties. The L.A. County district attorney said he also has a voluntary manslaughter conviction in Texas in 1988. Details of the case were not immediately available.

Court and prison records indicate Kirby was sentenced to five years in prison for burglary in the 1990s and three years in prison for petty theft in 2005. He also has another theft conviction for which he served jail time, records show. He was discharged from prison on Feb. 1.

He suffered a broken nose and jaw at the hands of the action star Wednesday morning. But law enforcement sources say detectives believe the actor acted in self-defense.

LL Cool J, who rose to fame with the hit song "Mama Said Knock You Out" and portrays a special agent on the CBS drama "NCIS: Los Angeles," proved life imitates art and nabbed the alleged burglar inside his expansive Studio City house.

When Los Angeles police arrived at the Blairwood Drive home around 1 a.m. Wednesday, LL Cool J had detained the battered and bruised suspect. The man was later identified as Kirby, a transient with a lengthy arrest record for thefts, fights and drugs, officials said.

Kirby was arrested on suspicion of burglary and may face a battery charge.

LL Cool J, born James Todd Smith, told police he was upstairs in his home when he heard a noise coming from the kitchen area. When he went to investigate, a man came at him, leading to the fight, police said.

During what several sources described as a brawl, Kirby suffered a broken nose, jaw and ribs. The actor, who was not injured, later told authorities that he acted out of concern for his family.

Investigators suspect Kirby may be responsible for other break-ins in the Studio City area in recent weeks.


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-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo: LL Cool J performs "Mama Said Knock You Out" at the Keep Memory Alive foundation's "Power of Love Gala" in Las Vegas in February. Credit: Ethan Miller / Getty Images