Obama's uncle returns to court in drunk driving case

Reuters News

9/29/2011 1:43:46 PM - Reuters News

CONWAY, Mass (Reuters) - An uncle of President Barack Obama returned to a Massachusetts court on Thursday for a hearing in his drunk driving case, the prosecutor's office said.

Onyango Obama, 67, of Framingham, Massachusetts, appeared in Framingham District Court for a pre-trial conference, said Jessica Venezia-Pastore, a spokeswoman for the Middlesex District Attorney's office.

He was arrested on August 24 and charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, failure to yield at an intersection and negligent operation of a motor vehicle, prosecutors say.

Onyango Obama, who is originally from Kenya, is a half-brother of President Obama's father, an administration official confirmed.

The president's uncle pleaded not guilty to all the motor vehicle charges on August 25 and was released.

In late August, he also was briefly held by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on allegations that he violated an order issued a number of years ago to return to Kenya. He then was released.

His next scheduled court appearance is November 17 for a hearing to decide whether his case will be tried by a jury or a judge, said Venezia-Pastore.

A call to Onyango Obama's attorney was not immediately returned.

(Reporting by Zach Howard; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Greg McCune)