Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Published Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011 | 12:39 p.m.
Updated Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011 | 2:58 p.m.
Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. was sentenced to six months in jail on a misdemeanor count of battery constituting domestic violence after pleading guilty Wednesday in Las Vegas Justice Court.
Mayweather, 34, will have to serve at least 90 days of the sentence in custody at the Clark County Detention Center, with the other 90 days suspended on the condition that he completes the other requirements of his sentencing.
He must turn himself in Jan. 6 to begin serving his time.
In addition to the domestic violence charge, Mayweather also pleaded no contest to two counts of harassment stemming from a September 2010 altercation involving his ex-girlfriend Josie Harris.
He was ordered to pay $2,500 in fines, attend a yearlong domestic violence counseling class, perform 100 hours of community service and avoid further arrests or citations as part of his sentencing by Justice of the Peace Melissa Saragosa.
More serious felony charges of coercion, robbery and grand larceny were dismissed as part of a plea agreement. If convicted on all charges, Mayweather could have faced up to 34 years in prison.
During a Sept. 9, 2010, argument with Harris, Mayweather allegedly grabbed her hair and threw her to the floor, the criminal complaint stated.
He also allegedly threatened to kill Harris and her boyfriend or make her boyfriend “disappear,” according to the complaint.
Documents indicated Harris and Mayweather lived together for seven years and separated in May 2010 after 15 “on and off” years.
A nine-page request for a protection order alleges Mayweather pulled Harris’ hair, punched her in the head and twisted her arm while she screamed for their children, ranging in age from 7 to almost 11, to call 911.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Lisa Luzaich argued during sentencing that Mayweather has a history of getting involved in physical altercations. Although many of the charges were dismissed, she said, it’s clear fines and counseling do not work.
“I would ask the court to put him in jail for a period of time, not just the minimum, to tell him this is where it ends,” Luzaich said. “This is a case where not only does he hit, kick and punch Josie, the mother of his children, (but) he does it in front of his kids.”
One of Mayweather’s attorneys, Karen Winckler, argued that the 2010 incident was a discussion that “got out of hand.” She pointed out that Mayweather was acquitted or had charges dismissed in many of the cases cited by Luzaich and argued that Mayweather has successfully completed counseling in the past.
Winckler also emphasized Mayweather’s involvement in the community, including his volunteer efforts and donations he’s made to charitable organizations, as reasons he should not be sentenced to jail.
“He should have left. He knows that; he accepts responsibility,” Winckler said about the night of the incident. “Eventually it got out of hand, and we are where we are today.”
Harris also wrote the court asking that Mayweather receive counseling instead of jail time.
But Saragosa ruled that the battery conviction warranted some jail time, especially because the assault took place in front of Mayweather’s children.
“One unique aspect of this case, that I think is different from the others I see on a regular basis, is the extent that this happened in front of children old enough to know what’s happening,” Saragosa said. “A period of time of incarceration will send the right message to the community and to his children that no matter who you are, there are consequences to your actions that are appropriate when this level of violence is inflicted.”
Mayweather still has one outstanding criminal case relating to a November 2010 incident where he is accused of poking and verbally assaulting a homeowners association security guard.
As part of the plea reached in the domestic violence case, Mayweather is expected to plead no contest in court next week to a charge of misdemeanor battery and pay a $1,000 fine.