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Tuesday, November 5
Jose Canseco agrees to three years' probation

Associated Press

MIAMI -- Jose Canseco and his twin brother pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges they beat up two men in a nightclub fight, agreeing to probation and community service but avoiding prison time.

The Cansecos made the deal while their trial was in jury selection.

Jose Canseco, 26th on the career home run list, and his brother, former big leaguer Ozzie, also will have to attend anger management classes.

Before the deal was approved, Circuit Judge Leonard E. Glick questioned Jose Canseco.

"If you want to go to trial, you'll get a fair trial. But you'll be gambling with your life and other things," Glick said. "But if you want, let's get this thing behind us. Do you want to accept the plea?"

Canseco replied: "I do."

Jose Canseco agreed to three years' probation, 250 hours of community service and the anger control classes. Ozzie Canseco must complete 18 months' probation, 200 hours of community service and the anger classes.

The brothers were involved in a fight in Miami Beach on Halloween 2001. Jose Canseco had faced up to 31 years in prison, and his brother faced up to 17 years.

Jose Canseco told police that one of the men groped a woman who was a companion of the brothers. Police said Jose Canseco grabbed one man by the neck, punched him and broke his nose. Canseco admitted pushing the first man but denied hitting him. Police said the man needed 20 stitches in his lip.

Jose Canseco pleaded guilty to one count of felony aggravated battery and two counts of misdemeanor battery. His brother pleaded to one count of felony battery and one misdemeanor battery count.

"It was very, very difficult for them to accept making a guilty plea," said attorney Angel Ruiz, who represented Jose Canseco. "They did it because of the possible dark consequences to their family and children."

Ruiz said that while no civil suit has been filed by three victims, they expect litigation.

"This will all be about money," Ruiz said.

The state dropped one felony aggravated battery count for Jose Canseco and one misdemeanor battery charge for his brother.

Prosecutors said it was a fair result.

"We treated them like any other citizen of Dade County in a similar situation," state attorney Jonathan Granoff said. "But if it went to trial, we could have proved our case. We had multiple independent witnesses."

Glick withheld judgment in the case pending completion of the sentence. They would have no police record from this case if they do so.

The brothers turned down a plea agreement in August that would have given them longer probation periods.

Jose Canseco hit 446 home runs, was a six-time All-Star and was the 1988 AL MVP. He retired in May, finishing his career as a .266 hitter with 1,407 RBIs and 200 stolen bases in 1,887 games with Oakland, Texas, Boston, Toronto, Tampa Bay, the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox.

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