Rip Torn break-in case to go to trial

Image caption,
Torn played Agent Zed in Men in Black and its sequel

Rip Torn's hopes of avoiding a trial over his arrest for breaking into a bank while carrying a gun have been dashed by a judge in Connecticut.

The actor had hoped to be admitted into a programme for first-time, non-violent offenders that would dismiss the charges after a probation period.

But a judge ruled the 79-year-old did not qualify for the special accelerated rehabilitation programme.

The case is now likely to continue toward a trial.

The Oscar-nominated actor is charged with breaking into a bank near his home in Salisbury, Connecticut on the night of 29 January.

Police say he was carrying a loaded revolver and was so intoxicated that he thought it was his house.

Judge James Ginocchio said on Wednesday that the charges were too serious for Torn's probation application to be accepted, especially given his past problems with alcohol.

One of the firearm charges the actor faces carries a mandatory minimum one-year prison sentence.

Born Elmore Rual Torn in 1931, the gravelly-voiced actor is best known for his roles in Men in Black and The Larry Sanders Show.

In 1984 he was nominated for an Academy Award for his work in the literary biopic Cross Creek.

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