Trial Date Set for Mike Tyson on Drug Possession, DUI Charges

Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson appeared in court Thursday and found out that he will go on trial Aug. 20 on charges of drug possession and driving under the influence of drugs.

Tyson, fresh out of a stint in a California rehabilitation facility, said very little during the five-minute proceeding.

"Yes, ma'am" were his only words, uttered after Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sherry Stephens asked him if he was OK with a later trial date.

Tyson did not say a word outside the courtroom, when a flock of reporters peppered him with questions and followed him to a shiny Cadillac Escalade.

One of his lawyers, Richard Schonfeld, said Tyson was doing well.

"We're very pleased with Mike's progress in treatment," he said. "He's 72 days sober. We're proud of him."

Tyson, 40, was arrested on Dec. 29 in Scottsdale.

A resident of the wealthy Phoenix suburb of Paradise Valley, Tyson was pulled over after leaving a nightclub. An officer found bags of cocaine in his back pocket and another in a pack of cigarettes in his car, according to court records.

Tyson pleaded not guilty on Jan. 22 in Maricopa County Superior Court to felony drug possession and paraphernalia possession counts and two misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence of drugs.

Tyson's next pretrial hearing is set for May 24, but he will be allowed to appear by telephone because his lawyers don't want to interrupt his treatment, Schonfeld said.

Stephens pushed Tyson's trial date back by a month to August because his attorneys said they hadn't seen all the state's evidence in the case.

County Attorney Andrew Thomas has said Tyson has run out of second chances, and prosecutors will pursue prison time. If convicted on all four charges, Tyson could be imprisoned as long as 7 1/2 years.

Tyson was convicted of rape in Indiana in 1992 and pleaded no contest to misdemeanor assault charges in Maryland in 1999.

Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion in history at 20 in 1986, when he knocked out Trevor Berbick. Four years later, he was knocked out by James "Buster" Douglas. By 1997, Tyson's career hit a low point when he bit Evander Holyfield's ear during a fight.