INDIO (CBS) —  Attorneys agreed to start jury selection Tuesday for the trial of actor Jeremy London, who faces a misdemeanor charge of spousal battery for allegedly hitting his estranged wife and pulling her hair during an argument about their 5-year-old son in Palm Springs.

Attorneys scheduled jury selection and pretrial motions in an appearance today before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Richard A. Erwood at Indio’s Larson Justice Center.

London, who had roles in the television dramas “Party of Five” and “7th Heaven,” is free on his own recognizance.

In January, Riverside County Superior Court Judge B.J. Bjork issued a protective order requiring London to have no contact with the woman, who was identified in court papers only as “Jane Doe.” London has a child with Melissa Cunningham, who he married in 2006 and from whom he is separated.

The alleged victim called police the morning of Nov. 18 to claim that London, 39, hurt her when they were outside London’s car — while their son was in the vehicle, Palm Springs police Detective Michael Studer wrote in a declaration in support of arrest. The woman told police the scuffle happened outside a home in the Mountain Gate complex at 400 Gateway Drive.

Studer wrote that London, who had stayed overnight at the home, put the couple’s son, still wearing pajamas, into his car. London told his estranged wife he was taking their son to breakfast, according to Studer.

“(She) said (their son) was yelling, `I don’t want to go,’ ” Studer wrote.

When the woman grabbed London’s backpack from his car in attempt to stop them from leaving, “London grabbed her by her hair, pulling her to the ground,” Studer wrote. “… London hit her several times on the side of the head in an attempt to take the backpack away. (She) said eventually she let go of the backpack and got up off the ground to get (the boy) out of the car.”

London left immediately after the altercation, Studer wrote.

He wrote that the 5-year-old boy told a police officer that his father pulled his mother’s hair, and “My dad was a bad boy.”

In June 2010, London made headlines when he said he was kidnapped and robbed in Palm Springs and forced to buy drugs and alcohol at gunpoint before escaping from his abductors.

In March, one of the men involved pleaded guilty to a felony charge of false imprisonment and a misdemeanor count of unlawful taking of a vehicle. He was sentenced to 16 months in prison, but with time already served and other credits, he was released from a Banning jail the day he entered the plea, according to court records.

Riverside County District Attorney’s Office spokesman John Hall said London could get up to a year in county jail if convicted of the battery charge.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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