Morrison pleads innocent to drug charges


Monday, October 18th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- Former heavyweight champion Tommy
Morrison pleaded innocent today to a variety of drug charges and
will face trial Dec. 21.

The former WBO champion entered his plea before Judge John
Lineberger.

Morrison was arrested Sept. 16, less than a week after he was
placed on probation for a Tulsa, Okla., drunken driving charge.

In Arkansas, the boxer was charged with cocaine possession,
simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms, being a felon in
possession of a firearm, possession of drug paraphernalia,
misdemeanor possession of marijuana and driving while intoxicated.
He also was charged with traffic violations that most likely will
be handled in another court.

A charge of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute was
dropped last week after prosecutors said they could not prove
Morrison had any intent to deliver.

On Sept. 10, Morrison received a two-year suspended sentence for
drunken driving in Oklahoma. Morrison had pleaded guilty.

In 1997, an Oklahoma jury convicted Morrison of driving under
the influence and other charges related to a chain-reaction traffic
accident that injured three people. He was ordered to spend time in
treatment. He also avoided jail time on charges of drunken driving
and speeding in Kansas in 1997.

Morrison became the WBO's heavyweight champion in 1993 by
defeating George Foreman. He had 40 knockouts during his career,
the last in 1996 -- just after testing positive for the AIDS virus.