I was in district court and was able to catch the latter part of the pro boxer's arraignment hearing concerning the allegations of violating parole. The hearing was held before Judge Martinez in the Second Judicial District Court. If I heard correctly, he's looking at about a twenty-year sentence, his mother-in-law just passed away, and he's being held in custody up until his parole hearing. Like many New Mexicans, I've followed his career on and off and have seen Johnny get in and out of unfortunate situations several times. I really hope this incredible boxer who had such a tough childhood is able to rise up and overcome one more time, like we've seen him rise up hundreds of times before.
Parole hearings can be intimidating hearings. The accused doesn't have a right to counsel at the informal hearing, has other limitations regarding the introduction of evidence/proof, and the parole hearings are not held before judges. Much of his fate will be up to people who we can only hope are familiar with his incredible background and history of overcoming tremendous obstacles like he has throughout his life. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Johnny Tapia and his family as they go through this tough process of grieving and fighting for his freedom.