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Tyson faces jail
Former world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson admits drug possession.
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2007 12:32 GMT

Mike Tyson: The self proclaimed "baddest man in the world" [GALLO/GETTY]

Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson has pleaded guilty to charges of drug possession and driving under the influence stemming from an incident last year as he was leaving a nightclub.
 
Tyson admitted in court that he had cocaine and was impaired when he was stopped for driving erratically in Scottsdale, Phoenix  on December 29.
He pleaded guilty to a single felony count of cocaine possession and a misdemeanor DUI (driving under the influence) count and faces up to four years and three months in prison when he is sentenced on November 19.

A felony charge of possession of drug paraphernalia and a second misdemeanor DUI charge were dropped as part of a plea agreement.

Defense lawyer David Chesnoff said Tyson has been clean and sober for eight months.

"It's obvious this was a crime he was committing against himself," Chesnoff said.

Police stopped Tyson 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.

"Whenever I can get my hands on it"

According to court documents, Tyson told police later that he used cocaine "whenever I can get my hands on it," and that he preferred to smoke it in cigarettes with the tobacco removed.

The 41 year old also admitted that he used marijuana that day and was taking the antidepressant drug Zoloft.

Since his arrest, Tyson checked himself into an inpatient treatment program for what his lawyer called "various addictions."

County Attorney Andrew Thomas said Tyson should be put in prison, noting that Tyson was convicted of rape in the midwestern state of Indiana in 1992 and pleaded no contest to misdemeanor assault charges in the state of Maryland in 1999.

"Mike Tyson is a repeat offender with a violent past," Thomas said.

"I believe only a prison sentence will send the right message and properly protect the public."

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.

Source:
Agencies
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