Mayweather associate gets prison
An associate of Floyd Mayweather Jr. was sentenced Tuesday to two to five years in prison for shooting at two men in a car after they argued with the champion boxer at a Las Vegas skating center.
Ocie Harris, 30, of Chicago could have faced up to 18 years in prison after pleading an equivalent of no contest to three felony charges in the Aug. 23, 2009, shooting outside Crystal Palace Skate Center.
Prosecutor Samuel Bateman sought a 12-year sentence, arguing it was clear that Harris and Mayweather were associates and friends, and that Harris shot seven times in the crowded parking lot at a BMW sedan with two people inside.
Six shots hit the vehicle, but driver Damein Bland and passenger Quincey Williams were not wounded.
Clark County District Court Judge Douglas Herndon chose to run Harris’ sentences concurrently and credited him with a month of time served. Harris also was ordered to pay almost $24,000 in restitution.
Mayweather wasn’t charged in the case. His lawyers didn’t immediately respond Tuesday to a message seeking comment.
Defense lawyer Tom Pitaro argued that prosecutors tried to pressure Harris to implicate the 35-year-old Mayweather in the incident.
Police said the dispute was about a text message Williams sent to Mayweather, saying he hoped the boxer would lose an upcoming fight.
Police claimed Mayweather threatened Williams by saying he could have him ”trumped.”
”Ocie Harris had no reason to shoot at these two people other than the beef they had with Floyd Mayweather,” prosecutor Bateman said.
Harris avoided trial with his Alford plea in April. He didn’t admit guilt but acknowledged that prosecutors could prove two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and one charge of firing a weapon into a vehicle.
Prosecutors dropped two attempted murder charges and one felony weapon charge as part of the plea agreement.
A separate civil lawsuit alleging Mayweather orchestrated the attack seeks monetary damages for Bland and Williams. The case is pending in Clark County District Court, with trial scheduled next July.
Mayweather’s manager, Leonard Ellerbe, has characterized the lawsuit as an attempt to extort money from Mayweather and denied that he was involved in the shooting.
Police seized handguns, ammunition, bulletproof vests and two vehicles from Mayweather’s home after the skate center shooting, but did not find the gun believed to have been used in the shooting.
Mayweather acknowledged being at the skating center but denied knowing anyone named Ocie and having any knowledge of a shooting. His lawyer, Richard Wright, said at the time that Mayweather was at the rink with his children, and the guns seized from his home were taken from security guards and registered to them.
Mayweather got out of jail earlier this month in Las Vegas after serving two months of a delayed 90-day sentence following his guilty plea last December in a September 2010 domestic battery case.
Mayweather was named by Forbes magazine as the world’s highest-paid athlete for 2011. He is undefeated as a boxer and was guaranteed $32 million for a May 5 bout when he defeated Miguel Cotto.