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Mike Tyson facing possible prison time again
Former heavyweight champ faces jail on drug charges
PHOENIX -- Former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson was charged Wednesday with drug possession and driving under the influence of drugs, and the Maricopa County prosecutor says he wants to send him to prison.
"He has run out of second chances, at least in my book," attorney Andrew Thomas said in a news conference.
Tyson, 40, was charged with two felonies for drug possession and two misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence of drugs. If convicted of all four charges, he could be sentenced to between 2 and 7 years.
The charges stem from his arrest Friday in Scottsdale, where Tyson was pulled over after leaving a nightclub. An officer found bags of cocaine in his back pocket and another in a package of cigarettes in his car, according to court records.
Tyson's criminal attorney, Thomas Marlow, didn't return phone calls Wednesday from The Associated Press.
Tyson's arrest was the latest in a string of run-ins with the law, dating back more than a decade.
In 1992, Tyson was convicted of rape in Indiana. Six years later, the former boxing champ pleaded no contest to misdemeanor assault charges in Maryland.
Thomas said Tyson's record makes him eligible for prison time instead of Arizona's drug treatment programs for nonviolent offenders.
"I don't take any pleasure out of doing this," Thomas said. "A week ago, my kids and I were watching Rocky Balboa in the movie theater, and we saw Mike Tyson make a cameo appearance in the movie, and now here we are and he's looking at going back to prison."
Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion in history in 1986, when at 20 he knocked out Trevor Berbick. Four years later he was knocked out by James "Buster" Douglas. By 1997, Tyson's career hit its low point when he bit Evander Holyfield's ear during a fight.
Tyson recently got back in the ring for a series of four-round exhibitions. When announcing the world tour, Tyson told reporters he was deep in debt and wondered if people would still pay to watch him fight.
On Friday, Tyson was released without bond after a brief court appearance. He didn't make any comment to reporters, except to offer a greeting.
Thomas said Tyson should be back in court for a preliminary hearing within the next two weeks.
The car Tyson was driving was spotted weaving and nearly struck a police SUV after he ran a stop sign early Friday, according to a police probable cause statement filed in court. During the stop, police said they saw him trying to wipe a white powder off the console of his car.
No alcohol was detected in his system. But Thomas said Tyson failed a sobriety test and officers searching his vehicle found three bags that later tested positive for cocaine.
The officer who made the arrest wrote in his report that Tyson "admitted to using today and stated he is an addict and has a problem."
Tyson is required to submit to drug and alcohol testing and is prohibited from drinking or taking any nonprescription drugs while the case is pending.
Re: Mike Tyson facing possible prison time again
I heard Tyson was going to be the guest speaker for the Cincinnati Bengals at there next function.
Re: Mike Tyson facing possible prison time again
Bengals Intrigued by Size of Local Murderer
The Cincinnati Bengals reportedly have contacted the attorney of a man recently convicted of killing two people in the city about playing for the team this season or as soon as he is released from prison.
“We’re trying to bring a certain toughness and aggression to this team that the Bengals have been lacking for years,” said head coach Marvin Lewis. “That is why we have made a concerted effort in the past year to acquire as many players as we can with criminal records. It’s been my experience that you won’t find a tougher, harder football player than one who has served time or is at least willing to commit a felony. That was our approach when I was with the Baltimore Ravens and we won a Super Bowl there. We need those kind of guys on our team because they’ll put us over the top. Our fans deserve nothing less.”
The latest person on the radar of Lewis and the Bengals is Mark Vandenburg, a 25-year-old Cincinnati man and former high school football standout who was convicted last week for killing two people in a botched armed robbery attempt.
“They’ve been covering this guy’s case on the local news and I knew as soon as I saw him that we had to see if we could get him on our team,” said Lewis. “He’s ripped and, of course, he has the requisite criminal background. We can coach a guy up when it comes to football, but that criminal mindset is something that only a very few special ones have. And this guy has it.”
Lewis says the Bengals attorneys are working to overturn Vandenburg’s sentence or set up a work release program that would allow him to suit up for the team on Sundays this fall.
“It’s not like he’s a totally bad guy. He never intended to murder those people at the convenience store,” says Lewis. “He was just trying to rob the place, but then the cashier had to go and push the button under the counter to alert the police. So he had to kill them. What we want is for him to get released from jail so he can use that killer instinct to go after the quarterback. We’re hopeful that the Bengals fever that has gripped this city in the past year will be enough for the judge to do us a favor here.”
Vandenburg would join the Bengals impressive – and rapidly growing – list of criminals and troublemakers. Wide receiver Chris Henry has been arrested four times in the past year alone. Star linebacker Odell Thurman was suspended last week for four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Two of their draft picks this year have been arrested already on felony charges, and the team just gave up a third-round draft choice next season to bring in Virginia linebacker Ahmad Brooks, who was repeatedly cited for marijuana possession while in school.
“This will be just my fourth year with the Bengals, and I’m slowly but surely getting my kind of players in the system,” said Lewis. “I’m confident we’re close to winning a championship here. I want this city to have a team it can be proud of.”