'Oz' Actor Charged in Elevator Shaft Death


Feb. 4, 2007 — -- An actor who played a prisoner on HBO's "Oz" series may well be on his way to the real slammer.

Granville Adams, 43, was arrested late Saturday on criminally negligent homicide charges after a dispute at a posh New York nightclub sent another man plummeting down an elevator shaft.

According to police reports, the victim, Orlando Valle, was celebrating his 35th birthday at BED New York when he got into a dispute with Adams early Saturday morning.

According to police, Adams pushed Valle against the sixth-floor elevator doors -- and the impact was so powerful the doors opened and Valle fell into the shaft.

Luz Ruiz was celebrating with Valle. He told the Associated Press Valle "tried to hold on with his left hand. He just fell. It happened so fast."

Valle plummeted four floors, landing on top of the elevator car at the second floor of the converted warehouse space. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

HBO, which aired "Oz," had no comment. A spokesperson for the network said they have had no dealings with Adams since the series ended several years ago.

Adams played Zahir Arif, "Prisoner 97A622." He also portrayed a police officer in 11 episodes of NBC's "Homicide: Life on the Street."

Celebrity-watchers say after Saturday's incident, his next role may be harder to come by.

"Once a celebrity is clearly actively involved in any type of assault, he or she can expect their career to suffer, unless of course they prove to have been acting in self defense," said Us Weekly style editor and ABC News contributor Katrina Szish.

"I can't imagine that Adams has a career left, as this clearly has not been described as an accident," Szish said. "Although the elevator doors opening was an unfortunate surprise, the fact remains that Adams was involved in a barroom brawl, which is never a boon to a celebrity's career."

Another incident involving a celebrity and a fatality occurred just last week. Singer-actress Brandy Norwood was involved in a four-car freeway crash that killed a woman. The star of "Moesha" has been sued for $50 million by the family.

But unlike Adams, Szish says Brandy's career will not be hurt by the tragedy.

"This is far different," she said. "She was involved in a fatal car crash, but there was no report or evidence of malice. It was clearly a sad, unfortunate accident that should not reflect negatively on Brandy."

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