Once a wildly successful mixed martial arts fighter, Jason “Mayhem” Miller’s years-long fall from grace has again landed him behind bars in Orange County.
Miller, 37, pleaded not guilty to a felony vandalism charge stemming from allegations that he smashed a large marble table at his girlfriend’s La Habra home, punched holes in and removed doors from the residence and derailed the garage door, according to prosecutors.
He was arrested last week and remains in Orange County Jail without bail. A felony vandalism charge carries a maximum penalty of eight months in custody, but paired with probation violations from prior offenses, the onetime MMA standout — who so far has been able to avoid significant jail time — could spend more than 23 years behind bars, if convicted.
It’s been just over a year since Miller said publicly that he wanted to turn his life around. The ex-MTV “Bully Beatdown” host has made a public name for himself outside of the ring in recent years for his outrageous Twitter outbursts and conflicts with police.
In April 2017, he said he was putting that life behind him after he managed to dodge a lengthy prison sentence, pleading guilty to more than a dozen felony and misdemeanor charges for vandalizing a tattoo shop, assaulting police officers and resisting arrest, court records show.
“I have done a lot of things that I regret,” Miller said at the time. “I wasn’t thinking during those times.”
However, he’s run into more trouble with the law since then, court records show.
In November 2017, he pleaded guilty to hitting his girlfriend and was sentenced to three years’ formal probation, narrowly avoiding a four-year prison term.
Miller got busted again in January when La Habra police served a search warrant on his girlfriend. They found him in possession of a bulletproof vest and various other weapons, including nunchucks, knives, a machete, an ax, a samurai sword and replica assault weapons, according to a probation report.
Miller’s progress on probation was characterized as “limited and disappointing” by his probation officer.
Defense attorney Cameron Talley, who represented Miller in previous cases, said the fighter is more than just the charges listed on his rap sheet.
“Jason and I are good friends,” he said. “I love him like a kid brother. He’s one of the most intelligent and nicest guys I know. The difficulty is that until he changes who he hangs out with and changes the way he does things, he’s not going to let his talent and potential out.
“It’s heartbreaking to me,” Talley, a former prosecutor, added.
Miller first found himself in legal trouble in August 2012 when he was arrested after authorities found him naked inside a church in Orange County. The vandalism charge against him was later dismissed.
The most high-profile incident was in October 2014 when Miller barricaded himself inside his Mission Viejo home for more than four hours after sheriff’s deputies arrived to arrest him on a warrant related to domestic violence allegations lodged by an ex-girlfriend. He live-tweeted the standoff.
Shortly after the allegations surfaced, he lost his job as an analyst with Fox Sports and couldn’t get any more fights, he said.
He fought the domestic violence allegations and was acquitted by a jury in February 2017.