Before even starting his controversial career as a boxing promoter, Don King had killed two men and had been arrested thirty times between the years of 1951 and 1966. In 1964, working as a prominent bookmaker in Cleveland, Ohio, King shot and killed a man who was allegedly trying to steal from his establishment, which was operating illegally out of a record store’s basement. The shooting was ruled as justifiable homicide by the court and King was not convicted. In 1967, King killed a young man, Sam Garrett, an employee who owed him $600, by brutally stomping him to death in public. Police reports note that King spent $30 000 to pay off witnesses not to testify against him. On the day of the trial, no witnesses showed up. King was found guilty of second-degree murder by the jury, but in an underhanded sequence of events, King and his lawyer met alone with the judge after the trial, who then filed a court order to have King’s sentence reduced to manslaughter. King spent less than four years in prison and was later pardoned by the Ohio Governor, Jim Rhodes, clearing his record.