Tyson's Appeal Denied : Jurisprudence: Former champion is expected to remain in prison until May of 1995.

From Staff and Wire Reports

Barring unforeseen developments, Mike Tyson on Friday lost his best chance for leaving prison before May of 1995.

In a 2-1 decision, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the former heavyweight champion's rape conviction and subsequent six-year sentence.

Tyson's attorney, Alan Dershowitz, said he would seek an immediate appeal.

But even if Dershowitz and Tyson gain a new hearing, it is unlikely, in light of the 19 months it took for the first appeal to be heard and rejected, that Tyson would win his freedom before his prison term has ended.

Tyson must serve at least three years of his six-year term under an Indiana law that deducts one day of the sentence for each day of good behavior. Prison officials say Tyson lost 30 days of credit for threatening a guard.

The earliest Tyson could be released without a successful appeal is on May 9, 1995, prison authorities said.

Dershowitz said he would bypass a rehearing before the Appeals Court and ask the Indiana Supreme Court to take the case. A majority of justices must agree to accept the case before the appeal can continue.

"The facts have been misstated and a grave injustice has been done to Mike Tyson," Dershowitz said.

Tyson, now 27, was convicted of attacking Desiree Washington in his hotel room. He was sentenced to the six-year term, followed by four years' probation, by Marion Superior Judge Patricia Gifford on March 6, 1992.

He has served 17 months of his sentence at the Indiana Youth Center.

"Justice has been done," said Deval L. Patrick, Washington's attorney. "Desiree is weary but satisfied that Mr. Tyson got a full and fair trial and appeal."

On a key issue, the judges ruled the trial court acted within its authority in blocking the testimony of three defense witnesses who would have contradicted Washington.

In the 72-page decision, the majority also ruled the court rightly kept jurors from hearing testimony about Washington's sexual past and evidence that the defense claimed would show Washington had a "powerful and secret motive" to lie about being raped.

Tyson found out about the decision early Friday in a telephone call from Dershowitz.

Clarence Trigg, Youth Center superintendent, took the call at his housing unit. Trigg said he didn't know any details of the conversation. Tyson was back on the job as a dorm maintenance worker.

"It's a regular workday," Trigg said.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
64°