By ROBERT CONNELLY
Former boxing champ Kelly Pavlik has pleaded guilty to a charge of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
Pavlik, 31, of Canfield originally was scheduled for an evidence-suppression hearing Wednesday afternoon in Mahoning County Area Court. When called before Judge David D’Apolito, he entered a plea of guilty to the OVI charge and waived his right to a trial.
“The second we walked in the courtroom, he changed his plea,” said Ken Cardinal, assistant Mahoning County prosecutor.
He has a mandatory six-month suspended license, retroactive to Dec. 10, 2013, when he originally was in court on the charge.
He has 30 days to pay $650 in court costs, 12 months probation, and three days in jail — or in lieu of jail time, he can attend the driver intervention program run by Austintown’s probation department.
That program “is a mandatory 72-hour lecture, and they can’t leave. They generally do it in a hotel, and they have an expert come in. ... They educate them on why they shouldn’t drink and drive or why they shouldn’t be drinking, period,” Cardinal said.
He added he had interviewed two workers of the toll booth on the Ohio Turnpike as well as the trooper with the Ohio State Highway Patrol who cited Pavlik for OVI.
The original incident took place at 12:25 a.m. Dec. 9 at the Youngstown-Niles exit on the turnpike.
Pavlik previously had turned down a plea deal March 17 and originally pleaded not guilty Dec. 10.
He also had pleaded guilty to a charge of OVI in April 2011 stemming from an ATV crash.
The former boxer also pleaded no contest in February to an amended disorderly conduct charge stemming from an incident with a cabdriver who accused him of not paying for his cab ride.
Pavlik retired from boxing in January 2013 after a 12-year career. He went 40-2 with 34 knockout victories. He was the middleweight champion in 2007.