Mike Tyson is going back to jail, this time for as long as a year, following an assault on two motorists after a traffic accident last summer.
Friday's decision not only puts the former heavyweight champion's boxing career in jeopardy, it could lead to more jail time for violating parole in Indiana.
Tyson "repeatedly speaks and acts compulsively and violently," Judge Stephen Johnson said after a three-hour hearing. "The court views this as a tragic example of potentially lethal road rage."
Johnson gave Tyson two concurrent two-year sentences, and suspended all but one year. He fined Tyson $5,000 and sentenced him to two years' probation after his release from jail -- which could be in six months if he's released early for good behavior.
Tyson appeared stoic throughout the hearing. During a 30-minute recess, he stroked the face of his wife, Monica, and quietly chatted with her. Then came the sentence.
Upon hearing the judge's words, Tyson's broad shoulders slumped, and he was led away in handcuffs while his wife cried.
The decision came three weeks after Tyson's successful comeback against Francois Botha, his first fight since he lost his license for biting Evander Holyfield's ears during a championship bout. Tyson was scheduled to fight April 24 in Las Vegas against an opponent to be determined.
Marino Capurro, spokesman for Showtime, the cable network that has a multiple-fight contract with Tyson:
"We are surprised at the severity of the sentence that the Montgomery County District Court has issued to Mike Tyson. We cannot comment further at this time."
Indiana authorities must now decide whether the 32-year-old fighter violated his probation for a 1991 rape conviction. Tyson was released in 1995 after serving three years of a six-year sentence, and his probation was set to expire in March.
The sentence also could lead to a review of Tyson's boxing license by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which reinstated the fighter in October after a one-year suspension for biting Holyfield during a fight in June 1997.
It was not clear how the commission would react to the sentence.
Judge Patricia Gifford, the Indiana judge who sentenced Tyson at his rape trial, could not be reached for comment. David Deputy, a bailiff in her court, said he couldn't comment on the sentence.
"The judge is waiting for her paperwork to come from Maryland," he said.
Tyson kicked one motorist and punched another after a minor three-car accident in Gaithersburg, Md., on Aug. 31. In December, Tyson pleaded no contest -- meaning he neither protested the charges nor admitted guilt.
He could have received up to 20 years in jail.
The two victims, Abmielec Saucedo and Richard Hardick, settled out of court, and were against sending Tyson to jail.
The prosecutor, Montgomery County State's Attorney Douglas Gansler, wanted Tyon behind bars, but was hampered by a plea agreement negotiated by his predecessor, Robert Dean. Dean had said he would recommend no jail time in return for the no contest plea.
Gansler's memo to the judge called Tyson "nothing less than a time bomb." Gansler detailed Tyson's 1991 rape conviction in Indiana, seven brushes with the law as a juvenile, and the Holyfield fight.
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