Published June 01, 2012
LAS VEGAS – Floyd Mayweather Jr. surrendered in a courtroom Friday to begin a three-month jail sentence for attacking his ex-girlfriend in September 2010 while two of their children watched.
Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Melissa Saragosa credited the undefeated five-division champion with attending weekly domestic violence counseling sessions — including one the day of the May 5 fight she allowed him to make — and with beginning to meet community service requirements she imposed in December. The judge then watched as Mayweather was handcuffed and taken away.
Mayweather didn't say a word.
"He'll be all right," Mayweather's friend, rapper 50 Cent, told reporters after arriving with Mayweather and speaking afterward with ring adviser Leonard Ellerbe outside the courthouse in downtown Las Vegas.
"It's an uncomfortable situation for everyone," he said.
Ellerbe declined to comment.
Mayweather pleaded guilty in December to reduced domestic battery charges in a hair-pulling, arm-twisting attack on Josie Harris, the mother of three of his children. The plea deal allowed him to avoid trial on felony charges that could have gotten Mayweather up to 34 years in prison if he was convicted.
"Everyone has a different version of the same story," said 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis James Jackson III. He compared the dispute between Mayweather and Harris to the breakup of a marriage with children involved. Harris and their three children now live in Southern California.
"It's no different than anyone going through a divorce," the rap star said, "and how your friends can become your vested enemies."
Las Vegas police say that as a high-profile inmate, Mayweather probably will serve most of his time away from other prisoners in a small solo cell in the high-rise Clark County Detention Center.
Police released a statement Thursday saying visitation at the jail will be suspended Saturday for "inmate reclassification and housing changes." Officer Bill Cassell, a department spokesman, said the expected 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. lockout was not related to Mayweather's arrival.
Mayweather, who goes by the nickname "Money," apparently enjoyed some pampering Thursday while preparing for his jail stint. He posted an image Thursday on Facebook and Instagram showing him getting a pedicure. The caption read, "At home enjoying my day."
In jail, he'll have a cell about one-third the size of a small boxing ring. For at least the first week, Mayweather will be segregated for his protection from the other 3,200 inmates in the downtown Las Vegas facility, Cassell said.
Mayweather won't have a TV in his cell, and Cassell said televisions in jail dining areas probably won't carry the June 9 pay-per-view WBO welterweight fight between Mayweather rival Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley at the MGM Grand Garden arena.
The judge sentenced Mayweather on Dec. 22, then later allowed him to remain free long enough to make the Cinco de Mayo weekend fight and a guaranteed $32 million. Opponent Miguel Cotto was paid $8 million.
Saragosa said when she sentenced Mayweather that she was particularly troubled that he threatened and hit Harris while their two sons watched. The boys were 10 and 8 at the time. The older boy ran out a back door to get a security guard in the gated community.
Mayweather pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic battery and no contest to two harassment charges.
Prosecutors dropped felony robbery, coercion, and grand larceny charges stemming from allegations that he threatened the boys and took cellphones from Harris and his son. Combined, the charges could have gotten him up to 34 years in prison.
The misdemeanor conviction was one of several since 2002 for Mayweather in battery and violence cases in Las Vegas and in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Mich.
As part of his plea deal in the domestic battery case, he pleaded no contest and paid a $1,000 fine for a November 2010 scuffle with a homeowner association security guard in an argument about parking tickets.
He was acquitted last October of misdemeanor allegations that he threatened two homeowner association security guards during a separate parking ticket argument.
He was acquitted by a Nevada jury in July 2005 after being accused of hitting and kicking Harris during an argument outside a Las Vegas nightclub, and he received a suspended one-year jail sentence and was ordered to undergo impulse-control counseling after his conviction in 2002 of misdemeanor battery in another nightclub fight with two women.
He was fined in Grand Rapids in February 2005 and ordered to perform community service after pleading no contest to misdemeanor assault and battery for a bar fight.
Mayweather also faces a civil lawsuit in Las Vegas from two men who allege he orchestrated a shooting attack on them outside a skating rink in 2009. Police have never accused Mayweather of firing shots and he has never been criminally charged in the case.
Mayweather's jail stay will be capped at 87 days, because the judge gave him credit for three days previously served. It could be reduced by several weeks for good behavior, Cassell said.
Mayweather also was ordered to complete the yearlong domestic violence counseling program, 100 hours of community service and pay a $2,500 fine.
His lawyer, Karen Winckler, said Mayweather has paid the fine.
Mayweather's standard administrative segregation cell will have a bunk, stainless steel toilet and sink, a steel and wood desk with a permanently bolted stool and two small vertical windows with opaque safety glass.
The 7-by-12-foot cell will be a far cry from Mayweather's nearly 12,800-square-foot, two-story mansion on a cul de sac in an exclusive guarded community several miles south of the Las Vegas Strip. Mayweather's home has two garages, five bedrooms, eight bathrooms, and a swimming pool and hot tub overlooking a golf course.
Mayweather could have about an hour a day out of his cell with access to an exercise yard, Cassell said. Depending on his behavior, the boxer could later get several hours a day for exercise with other inmates also being held in protective custody.
He'll wear a standard-issue blue jail jumpsuit with the letters CCDC and orange slippers. Mayweather will be able to deposit money into a jail account to purchase snacks, soap and personal hygiene items from the jail commissary.