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Jail Term Accepted by Hoyt : Padre Pleads Guilty to 2 Drug Charges, Faces 60 Days to Year

November 14, 1986|TOM FRIEND | Times Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — Padre pitcher LaMarr Hoyt pleaded guilty Thursday to two misdemeanor drug charges and will spend from 60 days to a year in custody.

Hoyt, who declined comment, will be sentenced Dec. 16 by a federal magistrate, Roger Curtis McKee, and is expected to begin his jail term in early January. Depending on the length of the sentence, he could rejoin the Padres sometime during spring training, if he is allowed to.

Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth declined comment Thursday, and spokesman Richard Levin said: "We're still reviewing the situation."

There's also a possibility that the Padres will not take Hoyt back. After he spent 30 days in a drug rehabilitation center last February, Hoyt was told by team President Ballard Smith: "Don't let this happen again."

Thursday, Smith said: "I have not talked to LaMarr, and obviously the first person that I'm going to talk to when our decision is made is him. And at the appropriate time after that, we'll let all of you know what we're going to do."

Hoyt, 31, will become the first active baseball player to serve time since Kansas City's Willie Wilson, Jerry Martin and Willie Aikens were imprisoned on drug charges in 1984.

Hoyt was arrested Oct. 28 when he tried to cross the border at San Ysidro with 322 1/2 Valium tablets and 138 other pills hidden in his possession.

Three marijuana cigarettes also were found in his car.

The former Cy Young Award winner faced a possible sentence of 15 years in jail and a $250,000 fine. But Hoyt's attorney, Howard Frank, negotiated with Pat Swan, an assistant U.S. attorney, and the following plea bargaining agreement was announced Thursday:

--Hoyt pleaded guilty to possession of both the Valium and the other pills. Each count carried a maximum penalty of one year in custody and a $5,000 fine.

--Hoyt agreed to go to jail for 60 days to a year and accepted a five-year probationary period--beginning upon release from jail--at which time he will undergo random drug testing and counseling. If he violates probation, he could be sent back to jail for up to a year.

--Hoyt agreed to forfeit his 1986 Porsche, the car that was confiscated Oct. 28.

Swan said he was happy with the agreement because his goal all along was to get Hoyt in jail. Hoyt had been arrested with drugs twice before last February, and Swan said imprisonment this time was imperative.

"The disposition in this case considered Mr. Hoyt as an individual who violated the drug laws," he said. "The fact that he's a baseball player didn't come into play."

Hoyt, who will undergo drug tests once a week until he is sentenced, will have an opportunity to name the correctional facility of his choice but the bureau of prisons will have the final say.

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