Updated: Thursday, 10 Sep 2009, 12:48 AM MDT
Published : Wednesday, 09 Sep 2009, 2:37 PM MDT
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Former world boxing champion Johnny Tapia is going back to prison after a judge deemed him a habitual offender for violating his probation on a drug conviction.
The boxer's attorney fought one last fight for Tapia on Wednesday and tried to get the habitual offender proceedings dismissed.
Being deemed a habitual offender carries a mandatory one-year prison sentence. Bernalillo County District Judge Kenneth Martinez took away Tapia’s chances of freedom when he agreed with the state.
“The state has done everything in its powers to make certain you live a life that is crime- and drug-free, and every turn in the road you've really violated the trust of the state," Martinez said during the hearing.
Tapia's most recent violation came in July when he traveled to the town of Red River. Tapia’s probation only allowed him to travel between Albuquerque and Las Cruces.
The town’s marshal also found that Tapia’s probation travel pass had been altered.
Tapia's family said he went to Red River to help look for a missing cousin who later turned up dead. They were upset the judge didn't take that into consideration.
“They should have dropped it,” Tapia’s brother-in-law Chris Chavez said. "It wasn't for drugs; there was no criminal activity. He just went up for a good cause."
It also was revealed on Wednesday that the state had offered Tapia a plea deal where in exchange for pleading guilty to forgery and altering a government document the habitual-offender proceedings would not be filed.
Tapia turned it down. In court his attorney Erlinda Johnson said the boxer did not commit those crimes, so offering the plea deal violated his rights. The judge said the state did nothing wrong.
Tapia only had two more days of probation to serve when he violated it.
Tapia has been in custody since July. It's up to the judge if the time already served will count toward his prison sentence.
As for the altered government document, the district attorney's office said it will be up to Taos County to move forward with any charges.