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IBF Middleweight Champ Jermain Taylor Could Face 26 Years in Prison

Posted on 12/02/2014

By Bryanna Fissori, Boxing Insider Legal Analyst

After near three months from the time of the incident, former Middleweight Champion Boxer Jermain Taylor (32-4-1) was charged for shooting his cousin, Tyrone Hinton, multiple times at Taylor’s suburban home in Little Rock, Arkansas this summer.

The boxer was taken into custody immediately following the August 26 shooting when his wife called 911 to report the incident. The 911 tape reveals Taylor stating, “Better come get him before I kill him.”

The charges brought against Taylor are first-degree battery and first-degree terroristic threatening. If convicted on both counts Taylor could be facing up to 26 years in prison.

1. Arkansas Law § 5-13-201. Battery in the First Degree.

(a) A person commits battery in the first degree if:

(1) With the purpose of causing serious physical injury to another person, he causes serious physical injury to any person by means of a deadly weapon; or

(2) With the purpose of seriously and permanently disfiguring another person or of destroying, amputating, or permanently disabling a member or organ of his body, he causes such an injury to any person; or

(3) He causes serious physical injury to another person under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life….

According to Arkansas law, it appears that on the face of the claim Taylor has committed first degree battery in his attempt to cause serious harm with a deadly weapon. If that wasn’t enough, he continues to meet the other basic standards set forth in the law; his statement recorded on the 911 tape demonstrates an extreme indifference to the value of human life.

2. Arkansas Law § 5-13-301. Terroristic threatening

(a)(1) A person commits the offense of terroristic threatening in the first degree if:

(A) With the purpose of terrorizing another person, he threatens to cause death or serious physical injury or substantial property damage to another person….

This cause of action is usually a speech-based crime. It can sometimes be difficult to determine the exact language or intent of the persons involved. The main difference between the terroristic threat charge and the battery charge is that no actual physical contact must occur, but the threat must be reasonable.

The intent of the terrorizing statement is crucial to secure a conviction on the charge. The most common defense is the contention that the intent of the statement made was not to threaten. In this case, a statement was actually recorded with a threat, and given the gun that was likely in Taylor’s hand when the statement was made, the defense will have to put in some serious effort to dissuade the prosecution.

On October 8, Taylor faced off against Sam Soliman in an IBF Middleweight title fight that secured the defendant’s fifth victory in a row. The fight controversially occurred after the shooting incident. Now that the fighter has been officially charged, he probably won’t be entering the ring any time soon. Taylor is currently managed by Al Haymon.

Hinton, who spent several days in the hospital for treatment of multiple gunshot wounds, was not planning on pressing charges according to the family, who stated that it was “family business.” There is no word on whether or not the family will be cooperating through the litigation.

Taylor’s attorneys have already filed a motion to suppress evidence from the arrest occurring on the night of the shooting, as they challenge the legality of that arrest.

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