In September 1999, as Tom Ziller notes, the younger Sterling shot a childhood friend and claimed self-defense. But forensics tests showed that Sterling's friend had been shot, from behind, in the leg: He was almost certainly running away. The whole story comes from Fred Dickey in the L.A. Times Magazine from December 2000, but Scott Sterling evidently wriggled away without charges because of his father's influence with the police and the district attorney's office. Here's a transcript of one taped conversation between Donald Sterling and a detective:
"I, you know, am very close to the police chief in Beverly Hills . . . . So I'm very close to the Police Department, and I want to cooperate as much as possible."
"One day you will meet me in the course of things," Sterling said. "I'm so active in the community."
"Oh, I'm sure I will," Hopkins replied.
"You know Baca [Lee Baca, sheriff of Los Angeles County]?" Sterling asks. "I went with Baca to dinner the other night, and I'm close to Parks [Los Angeles Police Chief Bernard Parks]. I'm just very involved with the Police Department."
Sterling continued: "I wish that you'd give me a little advice. One day in life you're gonna be passing through, and you may need a lawyer to give you good, honest advice."
"Yeah, well . . . ." Hopkins responded.
"And I'm that lawyer," Sterling said. "Donald Sterling, on the corner of Wilshire and Beverly Drive."
No, the younger Sterling didn't face any charges for his shooting, and, no, the elder Sterling didn't face charges for influence-peddling with the cops.