Morrison avoids jail time after sentenced on violation

Wednesday, April 3rd 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ A Tulsa County judge on Tuesday sentenced former heavyweight boxing champion Tommy Morrison to one year in jail for violating his probation in a drunken-driving case, but he won't be serving any time.

Special Judge Millie Otey gave Morrison, 33, credit for the time he previously served in Arkansas, where he was sent to prison for offenses there.

Morrison didn't dispute allegations that he violated the conditions of a suspended sentence granted in Tulsa County 2 1/2 years ago.

``I've made a lot mistakes in my life,'' but he will not make these mistakes again, Morrison said.

Assistant District Attorney Caleb Raynolds said he requested incarceration, without specifying any length of time.

Morrison was featured in the movie, ``Rocky V,'' and his boxing career peaked in 1993 when he beat George Foreman to win the World Boxing Organization heavyweight championship. He lost the title later in 1993, and in 1996 tested positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, ending his boxing career.

Morrison pleaded guilty on April 1, 1999, to three traffic misdemeanors _ driving under the influence of alcohol, driving while his license was revoked and failing to stop at a red light _ stemming from a 1998 arrest in Broken Arrow.

District Judge Kyle Haskins gave Morrison a two-year, 10-day probation with no jail time required in September 1999, but warned Morrison that any violation of the law anywhere could be grounds for revocation of his probation.

Less than a week after Haskins granted that suspended sentence, Morrison was arrested in Fayetteville, Ark. on drug and weapon possession complaints. Morrison pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to two years in prison plus an eight-year probation in January 2000.

He was paroled from Little Rock's Central Arkansas Community Punishment Center on Feb. 28, 2001.

A September 2001 news report indicated that he had established a boxing camp that would also furnish ``spiritual attention'' to campers outside of Conway, Ark.