Tyson Granted Parole


Mike Tyson, in jail since February for assaulting two motorists, was granted parole Friday and is scheduled for release no later than June 4.

The Maryland Parole Commission voted 5-1 to grant the former heavyweight champion his release, contingent upon approval by Indiana authorities.

The exact date of Tyson's release will depend on how soon Indiana acts.

The commission said it granted parole because it would guarantee that Tyson would be supervised upon his release. Had Tyson served out his term in Rockville, Md. due to expire in September he could not have been placed under the supervisory terms of parole.

"Our No. 1 reason for release is to assure that Mr. Tyson will reintegrate safely into society and follow the general rules of his parole," the commission said. "He needs to be supervised and held accountable to public standards of conduct."

A call to Tyson's Indiana probation officer George Walker was not immediately returned.

Manager Shelley Finkel, when asked when Tyson might fight again, said, "I can't tell you when until he gets out and I sit down and talk with him."

Tyson has three fights remaining on a deal with the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and at least three more fights with Showtime, Finkel said.

With good behavior, Tyson would have been released in September had he not been granted parole. He will now be on parole until September, followed by two years' probation.

"We expected it," said Douglas Gansler, state's attorney for Montgomery County. "He's being treated like everyone else would be treated with the same criminal history and the same criminal conduct."

"It's not like he's now sort of scot-free. He will still be under parole, and he's going to be under the auspices of the criminal justice system for the next two years."

Tyson last fought Jan. 16 and he was behind on all three cards before he stopped Francois Botha in the fifth round at Las Vegas.

He was tentatively scheduled to fight again April 24 against an undetermined opponent but was then was sentenced to jail.

The Botha fight was Tyson's first since his license was restored by Nevada boxing authorities on Oct. 19. The license had been revoked after he was disqualified for biting Evander Holyfield ears June 28, 1997.

Tyson pleaded no contest to misdemeanor assault charges following a minor traffic accident in suburban Gaithersburg, Md., in August. He was sentenced Feb. 5 on one year in the Montgomery County jail, and 60 days were later added as punishment for violating probation for a 1992 rape conviction in Indiana.

Early in his sentence, Tyson spent five days in solitary confinement for throwing a TV in a jail recreation room. His lawyers said Tyson had not received his antidepressant medication for several days before the outburst.

Tyson has also undergone counseling while in jail. His medication was changed, ad he has been studying for a high school equivalency diploma.

Friday's hearing was at 9 a.m. The hearing officer then traveled to Baltimore to present his findings before the parole commission, which informed Tyson of the decision at about 2 p.m.

In addition to the opportunity to place Tyson under tighter supervision, the commission said it also granted the parole because both the assault victims had said they did not want to see the boxer jailed.
  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

Comments