11-19-2007, 12:50 PM #1
Mike Tyson gets day in jail for cocaine, DUI
MESA, Arizona (AP) -- Mike Tyson was sentenced Monday to 24 hours in jail and three years' probation for drug possession and driving under the influence.
The former heavyweight champion had pleaded guilty in September to a single felony count of cocaine possession and a misdemeanor DUI count.
Tyson had faced a possible maximum sentence of four years and three months in prison. Prosecutor Shane Krausner had recommended one year in prison Monday, saying that Tyson was a multiple offender who previously had been convicted of a violent crime and that only now has he sought treatment for his drug addiction.
The charges stemmed from a traffic stop in Scottsdale last December.
Police pulled Tyson over after the boxer had spent the evening at Scottsdale's Pussycat Lounge. An officer said he saw Tyson wiping a white substance off the dashboard of his black BMW, and that his speech was slurred.
Authorities said they found bags of cocaine in Tyson's pocket and in his car.
Tyson told officers later that he used cocaine "whenever I can get my hands on it," and that he preferred to smoke it in Marlboro cigarettes with the tobacco pulled out, according to court documents. He also told police that he used marijuana that day and was taking the antidepressant Zoloft, the documents state.
Since his arrest, Tyson checked himself into an inpatient treatment program for what his lawyer called "various addictions."
Tyson attorney David Chesnoff said his client had taken 29 drug tests without a relapse since his arrest and that he's attended Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
Two of Tyson's former wives also wrote letters to the court asking for leniency.
Superior Court Judge Helene Abrams said Monday that she was impressed that Tyson was seeking therapy for his drug addiction. "You worked to address your addiction and self-destructive behavior," Abrams said.
County Attorney Andrew Thomas had said after the plea was entered that Tyson should be put in prison, noting that Tyson was convicted of rape in Indiana in 1992 and pleaded no contest to misdemeanor assault charges in Maryland in 1999.
In 1986, Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion in history when, at 20, he knocked out Trevor Berbick. He lost his title four years later when he was knocked out by James "Buster" Douglas. By 1997, Tyson's career hit a low point when he bit Evander Holyfield's ear during a fight.
Tyson, 41, recently had been trying to revive his career with a series of boxing exhibitions
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