World champion boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. was acquitted Friday of hitting and kicking his former girlfriend during a 2003 argument outside a Las Vegas nightclub. Mayweather showed no reaction as the verdict was read in Clark County District Court. "I was nervous, extremely nervous, because my life was on the line," Mayweather told reporters outside the courthouse. "If I was a regular guy, the case would have been tossed out." Mayweather, who holds the WBC 140-pound title, was charged with one count of battery constituting domestic violence and would have faced a minimum of one year in prison if convicted.
The case stemmed from an altercation between Mayweather and Josie Harris, the mother of three of his children. The two were sitting in Mayweather's black Bentley outside the SRO Club when Harris said in a police report the boxer kicked her, punched her and pulled her hair.
Harris, 25, testified Thursday that she lied to police because she was angry Mayweather, 28, had left her for another woman. She described him as a "teddy bear inside" and said she knew "that no matter what I did, he would never put his hands on me."
During the trial, Mayweather's lawyer, Richard Wright, acknowledged the fighter pulled Harris from the car after she kicked in the front windshield. But Mayweather never hit Harris, Wright said.
Deputy District Attorney Alexandra Chrysanthis had urged jurors to rely on what Harris said the night of the altercation "before anyone ... had a chance to change their mind."
The battery case was not the first for Mayweather.
In February, he was fined and ordered to perform community service after pleading no contest in Grand Rapids, Mich., to a charge of misdemeanor assault and battery for a bar fight.
Mayweather, who grew up in Grand Rapids, lives and trains in Las Vegas.
Last year, he was convicted of misdemeanor battery stemming from a fight with two women at a Las Vegas nightclub. He received a suspended one-year jail sentence and was ordered to undergo "impulse-control" counseling.
"I'm disappointed," Chrysanthis said. "But I know a lot more about his criminal history than the jury did."
Jurors deliberated less than 90 minutes before reaching their verdict. Foreman Gregory Aguirre, a 20-year-old college student from Las Vegas, said each juror had an opinion on Harris' testimony, but were united regarding the state's burden of proof.
"There was a lot of reasonable doubt, and you can't convict someone when there's a lot of reasonable doubt," Aguirre said.
Jurors were not swayed by Mayweather's celebrity status, Aguirre said, adding he didn't know who Mayweather was when the case began.
"I had never heard of him. I'm not a boxing fan," Aguirre said. "To me, he's just an average citizen, just like me."
As for Mayweather, he said the trial was not a distraction from boxing and he's looking forward to fighting Winky Wright on Nov. 12 in Las Vegas. Plans for the bout haven't been finalized.