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Friday, January 6, 2006
Hearns' assault hearing delayed until Jan. 26

Associated Press

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. -- Thomas Hearns' pretrial hearing on a charge that he struck his 13-year-old son was postponed Friday so the former boxing champion's lawyer could gather more information.

Hearns is to return to court Jan 26. If convicted of the misdemeanor assault and battery charge, he faces a maximum penalty of about three months in jail and a $500 fine.

Neither Hearns nor his attorney, Michael Smith, commented following Friday's appearance before Judge Shelia Johnson.

Hearns was arraigned Monday and released on $10,000 personal bond. The 47-year-old boxer was ordered to not have contact with his son.

Southfield police say they were called to Hearns' home by his wife Sunday evening. When they arrived, police said they found the boy with a small cut and bruise over one eye. Hearns was arrested and jailed until his arraignment.

"This case is not a case of reasonable parental discipline," said Keri Middleditch, an assistant Oakland County prosecutor. "The injuries ... far exceed any bounds of reasonable discipline."

Southfield Police Chief Joseph Thomas had asked the prosecutor's office to review the case to see if Hearns' son should be charged. Thomas said the boy either hit Hearns or tried to hit him before he was struck.

Prosecutor David Gorcyca said Friday the boy would not be charged. Thomas declined to comment on the decision. Thomas and Gorcyca declined to release copies of the police report.

Hearns had memorable fights with Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran and Marvin Hagler. Between 1980 and 1999 he held WBA, WBC, WBU and IBO titles ranging from the welterweight to cruiserweight divisions.

Hearns began a comeback in July with an eight-round victory over lightly regarded John Long. After the bout, Hearns said he planned to fight for a long time.