It was as disturbing a scene that we’ve come across in a televised fight in a long spell, when Andre Dirrell’s guy Leon Lawson, after the Dirrell vs Jose Uzcategui fight was stopped after Dirrell was hit by a punch a half split second after the bell rang to end round eight, went across the ring and suckered Uzcategui.
It looked like assault, clearly, and one had to think that the law would be attending to the matter, with Lawson detained and punished in swift fashion.
Well, it hasn’t happened that way…
First, Lawson went on the lam. Then, his surrender was negotiated, he presented himself to cops last Friday, and when he was finally brought to a court, a judge dismissed felony charges against the Michigan resident.
As this M-Live story explains:
PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, MD – A judge has dismissed all felony charges against the uncle of Flint boxer Andre Dirrell, who sucker-punched Jose Uzcategui following Dirrell’s IBF world super middleweight title fight earlier this month.
In a preliminary exam on Friday, June 2, a Prince George County District Court judge dismissed all felonious assault charges against Leon Lawson Jr., who turned himself in to Maryland police this week.
Lawson Jr. once faced up to a 25-year prison sentence and a $2,500 fine on the first-degree assault charge against and another 10 years on the second-degree assault charge.
And now? What does he face? Is he getting some sweet treatment? This May 20 sneak attack LOOKED like felony level stuff to our untrained eyes…
I asked James Galleshaw, of Sullivan and Galleshaw fame, to shed some light for me. The NY-based defense attorney told me this:
“I suspect that the felonies were dropped most likely because the Maryland felony statute requires that the victim suffer some degree of a “serious injury”, such as death, brain damage, permanent disfigurement or some other protracted injury,” Galleshaw told me. “Here, Jose likely only felt some soreness and had an abrasion that healed. Based on the video it is doubtful he suffered an injury that would satisfy the legal requirement for a felony.
“As far as a trial… what POSSIBLE defense could you raise other than to fall on the mercy of the court and concede that you are a punk ass bitch who cheap shots a guy looking away? I mean seriously, I am all for the right to a legal defense, but this is on video and clear as day it is completely unprovoked and unjustified.”
Lawson has a trial date Aug. 16. Let us see if the wheels of justice move forward with common sense applied and bring Lawson his just due…After all, the man went on the run after this televised hit and run…we’d like to think that his punishment should reflect that action, as well.
Oh, and a misdemeanor could in theory still land Lawson ten years of lockup. I doubt that happens, being that people get less time for much more heinous crimes.