ROCKVILLE, Md., Feb.
5 (UPI) _ A judge sentenced former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson to two years in
jail on two counts of misdemeanor assault stemming from an attack on two men following
a traffic accident in Gaithersburg, Md., last year, a ruling that could end the controversial
Tyson is on probation
from his 1992 rape conviction in Indiana. Because of his legal history, prosecutors
asked that Tyson be jailed, and today District Court Judge Stephen Johnson agreed.
Johnson sentenced Tyson
to two years in jail, but one year was suspended. Tyson was also ordered to provide
200 hours of community service and fined $5,000 in addition to court costs.
The jail time will be
served locally at Montgomery County Detention Center so Tyson can be near his family
in Potomac, Md.
Maryland State's Attorney
Doug Gansler said after the sentencing that Tyson could be eligible for early release
after six to seven months.
Tyson allegedly punched
and kicked two men following a minor traffic accident in Gaithersburg, Md., on Aug.
31, 1998. Tyson eventually reached an out-of-court settlement with the two men.
Despite their request
that Tyson serve no jail time, Gansler said, "Our office felt that, based on
his history and propensity for violence and the fact that he has admitted his violent
nature, we felt it was in the best interest of the public to order jail time."
Gansler said he did not
know if authorities in Indiana would ask that Tyson serve additional prison time
for parole violation.
Also at issue is Tyson's
license to box. That license was suspended after he twice bit Evander Holyfield and
was disqualified during a heavyweight title bout in 1997. Tyson was re-instated by
the Nevada Athletic Commission late last year and scored a fifth-round knockout of
Francois Botha on Jan. 16 in his return to the ring.
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