Is Tyson Headed Back To Prison?

The Indiana judge who could return Mike Tyson to prison will await the former heavyweight champion's sentencing on Maryland assault charges before making her decision.

Judge Patricia Gifford followed a recommendation from probation officer George Walker, who said in a probation report it "may be desirable to await the outcome" of misdemeanor assault charges against Tyson in Maryland.

Tyson pleaded no contest there last week. No sentencing date has been set.

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Walker sent official notice of the Maryland charges to Gifford Tuesday, noting Tyson had completed more than 3 ½ years of his four years of probation "with no criminal arrests, and he has been otherwise compliant and cooperative with this officer."

Walker also noted to Gifford that Tyson has completed more than the required community service, completed a special counseling program for sex offenders and continues weekly counseling. His probation is scheduled to expire in March.

Tyson served three years for rape in Indiana, and Gifford will decide whether he violated terms of his 1995 parole. Two motorists said he kicked and punched them after an automobile accident in Maryland in August. His sentencing is expected early next year, although the Montgomery County District Court in Maryland said no date has been set.

Gifford, who did not return a phone call Tuesday, could have issued a warrant for Tyson's arrest or scheduled a hearing on the report from Walker, the chief probation officer for Marion Superior Court.

Indiana authorities also reviewed the probation -- but took no action -- after Tyson bit Evander Holyfield's ears during a title bout in June 1997. The Nevada Athletic Commission stripped Tyson of his boxing license but reinstated him in October.

Tyson plans to fight Francois Botha on Jan. 16. A news conference was scheduled for Tuesday in Los Angeles to announce the bout.

Walker had said last week Gifford will have great latitude in responding to his report

"The judge can do everything from nothing all the way to imposing the originally suspended sentence, and anything in between," he said.

Tyson's no-contest plea was not an admission of guilt. However, Tyson could face up to 20 years in prison -- 10 years on each count -- and be fined up to $5,000. The two men he scuffled with already have agreed to a settlement to avoid a civil suit.

Tyson is training in the Phoenix area and intends to live there. He already has registered as a sex offender in Arizona as part of his planned move.

Tyson was convicted Feb. 10, 1992, of one count of rape and two counts of deviate sexual conduct. Gifford sentenced Tyson to 10 years in prison and suspended four. He was released from the Indiana Youth Center on March 25, 1995, and put on probation for four years.

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