Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson pleaded guilty Monday in Mesa, Ariz., to charges of drug possession and driving under the influence stemming from a traffic stop last year as he was leaving a nightclub.
Tyson quietly acknowledged to a judge that he had cocaine and was impaired when he was stopped for driving erratically in Scottsdale on Dec. 29.
He pleaded guilty to a single felony count of cocaine possession and a misdemeanor DUI count, and faces up to four years and three months in prison when he is sentenced Nov. 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.
Tyson told officers later that he used cocaine “whenever I can get my hands on it,” and that he preferred to smoke it in Marlboro cigarettes with the tobacco pulled out, according to court documents. He also told police that he used marijuana that day and was taking the antidepressant Zoloft, the documents state.
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.
• BOXER DIES — Jackson Bussell of Reno died a day after collapsing at the end of a six-round bout. He was 28.
Bussell died Friday, the Los Angeles Police Department said. Police are investigating, and an autopsy is planned.
Bussell was admitted to a hospital Thursday in grave condition after a fight in Calabasas, Calif., sanctioned by the California State Athletic Commission. He collapsed in the ring immediately after the bout, which ended in a draw with Javier Garcia.
• NEW WBC CHAMP — Samuel Peter (28-1, 22 knockouts) became the WBC’s interim heavyweight champion after Oleg Maskaev (34-5, 26 KOs) dropped out of their Oct. 6 title fight with a back injury.