Saturday 21 April 2018

Former world boxing champ Jermain Taylor pleads guilty to shooting his cousin

Boxer Jermain Taylor walks from the Pulaski County Jail in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)
Boxer Jermain Taylor walks from the Pulaski County Jail in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File) Newsdesk Newsdesk

Former world middleweight boxing champion Jermain Taylor has pleaded guilty to more than half a dozen charges stemming from three separate incidents over the past year, including shooting and wounding his cousin and firing a gun at a Martin Luther King parade.

In a plea deal with prosecutors, Taylor appeared in Pulaski County Circuit Court, Arkansas, with his lawyer, two days before he was due to face trial. Sentencing is set for April 19 and it is not clear how much prison time he might face.

"There was a change of plea. We were able to plea it to the court, which means the judge accepts the guilty plea and sets it off for sentencing," said Jimmy Morris, representing Taylor. He would not comment on the reason for the change of plea.

Prosecutors confirmed they had reduced charges to second degree battery in an incident where Taylor was accused of wounding his cousin last year.

They also removed an enhancement for charges over an incident in which Taylor was accused of firing a gun during the Martin Luther King parade while he was on bail from the first incident. The enhancement was because children were present during the incident.

Chief deputy prosecuting attorney John Johnson said the office agreed to dismiss the enhancement, but Taylor still pleaded guilty to five counts of aggravated assault, one count of terroristic threatening and misdemeanour possession of a controlled substance.

Charges were not reduced in a third incident from last May. Taylor pleaded guilty to second degree battery related to an alleged assault at a treatment centre in Little Rock, which he had entered in March after his bail was revoked for the parade incident.

While there, authorities say he was involved in a fight with another resident.

Mr Johnson said his office had not made a sentencing recommendation, which would probably happen during the April hearing.

"What will happen is that hearing will give everybody a chance to put on witnesses to tell the judge what they want to about the defendant. We could bring in victims to testify during that hearing as well," he said.

Judge Leon Johnson agreed to let Taylor continue training in Florida under supervision as a condition of his release.

"He's under the same restrictions with some leeway to possibly leave for fights and leeway to come home for Christmas," Mr Morris said.

Press Association

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