OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) A federal judge sentenced a former world champion boxer convicted of several bank robberies to seven years in prison, handing down a lighter sentence in part because of the defendant's boxing-related injuries, his difficult childhood and a mistake by a Georgia court in 2001 that resulted in his spending additional years in prison.
James Page was facing up to 20 years in prison during Tuesday's hearing after he pleaded guilty to the San Francisco Bay Area bank robberies in February. Prosecutors say the 43-year-old Page - who had been dubbed the ''Button Down Bandit'' because of the shirts he wore - took more than $20,000 during the heists last year, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Page told U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White in Oakland he knows what he did was wrong.
''With the pressures of life out there and my ego, I decided to take things in my own hands and make poor choices. I made a mistake, a mistake I take responsibility for,'' he said in court, according to the Oakland Tribune.
Page - known in the ring as ''The Mighty Quinn'' - won the World Boxing Association welterweight title in 1998. He later lost his title and was sentenced to 11 years in prison following his arrest in 2001 on suspicion of robbing a bank in Atlanta.
White noted on Tuesday that an error by a Georgia court kept Page in prison four years longer than he should have been, taking away what might have been his last chance at continuing his boxing career, the Tribune reported. Page also suffered injuries that impaired his memory and ability to reason, according to his attorney, Ellen Leonida, and a neurologist.
Page attempted a comeback in 2012 after his release, but lost his first match.
His mother, Pamela Page, thanked the judge after the sentencing, saying he had helped to save her son.
Information from: The Oakland Tribune, http://www.oaklandtribune.com