Ex-boxing champ, convicted murderer Bennie Heard arrested on battery charge

Bennie Frank Heard, a two-time U.S. Amateur Boxing Association light heavyweight champion who served two decades in prison on an Elbert County murder conviction, was back behind bars over the weekend on a misdemeanor simple battery charge.
Elberton Police arrested the 59-year-old Heard Friday afternoon at his Old Mineral Springs Road residence following what Chief Mark Welsh described as “an argument and tussle between roommates.” Heard is accused of striking the roommate with a baseball bat, although Welsh said the victim was not seriously injured.
In 1984, Heard was scheduled to fight Evander Holyfield in the U.S. Olympic trials but had to withdraw because of a hand injury, according to a Washington Post profile on Heard. He signed but later lost a professional boxing contract with ESPN and, following a foot injury, was back in Elberton in 1985.
That December, Heard got into a scuffle over a card game and a gun he was carrying went off, killing Raymond Winn. In February 1986, an Elbert County jury deliberated for about 15 minutes before finding Heard guilty of murder. Then-Superior Court Judge William F. Grant sentenced Heard to life in prison. He was released on parole in September 2006.
According to a New York Times profile in 2008, Heard tried unsuccessfully to revive his boxing career at the age of 48, with some help from Evander Holyfield, who contributed $2,000 to help defray his legal expenses.
Heard was released Monday from the Elbert County Detention Center after posting $1,000 bond.

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