BATON ROUGE, La. -- Former heavyweight boxer Clifford
Etienne, who learned to fight while serving a prison sentence, has
been sentenced to a century-and-a-half behind bars for a crime
spree that included an attempt to shoot two police officers.
Etienne was convicted in March of attempted second-degree murder
and several other charges after forcing his way into a Baton Rouge
check cashing business and stealing more than $1,900 last August.
He tried to hijack one car with two children inside, then hijacked
another with two children inside before wrecking the second
Police said Etienne tried to fire at the police officers who
responded, but his gun jammed.
Jurors rejected his lawyers' argument that Etienne did not know
what he was doing because he was high on drugs and suffering from
brain injuries sustained from boxing.
State District Judge Wilson Fields sentenced Etienne to 150
years, with no chance of parole, on Thursday.
Etienne, a former high school football star in Louisiana, was
paroled in 1998 after serving 10 years for attempted armed robbery.
He then became a professional boxer, nicknamed the "Black
Rhino." In 2001, Etienne signed a multifight deal with Showtime,
but his career ending soon after a 49-second first-round loss to
Mike Tyson in February 2003.
In January 2004, then-Louisiana Gov. Mike Foster denied a pardon