Sizemore Sent to Slammer

Despite teary plea, judge sentences Saving Private Ryan soldier to 16 months in prison for violating probation in his 2004 drug-possession case; gets credit for time served

By Josh Grossberg Jun 25, 2007 6:32 PMTags

Nothing can save Tom Sizemore from the big house anymore.

Fresh out of second chances, the Saving Private Ryan star was sentenced Monday to 16 months in a California prison for violating his probation in his 2004 drug possession case.

Despite a tearful mea culpa by the actor—and a promise to behave himself—Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Cynthia Rayvis agreed with the prosecutor that the 45-year-old Sizemore had violated the terms of his probation by "being under the influence of methamphetamine, opiates and marijuana" when he was arrested last month in Bakersfield.

"[Sizemore] has been in every program, and here he is again," the judge. "[He] has abused the privilege of probation [and] needs to be in a lockdown setting...I do believe that setting is state prison."

However, Rayvis effectively halved the sentence by crediting the actor with 213 days—or about nine months—for time served for his various stints in rehab. Adding the 22 days he's served in county jail and an extra 10 days off for good conduct, Sizemore will actually only end up serving six months in the clink.

Sizemore, who was clad in the orange jailhouse uniform, made no remarks during the hearing. Afterward, his lawyer, Fay Arfa, said she would appeal.

Showing up to support the actor yesterday was Martin Sheen, who once battled his own drug demons and helped son Charlie work through a similar rough spot. Outside court, the former West Wing star told reporters he thought the judge could have been more lenient.

"I don't think prison is appropriate for anyone who is in the grip of drug and alcohol abuse," Sheen said.

However, Sheen was heartened to know the court recommended that Sizemore serve his term at Donovan Correctional Facility, near San Diego, which also has a rehab clinic.

"[If he] gets the help there and the support, he can end up saving lives when he comes out," Sheen said. "He will have the tools and the will have the experiences of working on very difficult circumstances and he will get that much stronger."

Asked if he had anything to say to Sizemore, Sheen responded: "Hang in there."

Sizemore has been cooling his heels behind bars since surrendering June 5. An arrest warrant was issued after prosecutors deemed him in violation for the Bakersfield incident.

In a court appearance last week, Sizemore copped to the drug use and begged Rayvis not to send him to prison. The choked-up actor swore that if Rayvis allowed him to remain free, he'd clean himself up for good this time and be a proper dad to his two-year-old twin sons, Jayden and Jagger.

"If you would please just give me one more chance for myself," he pleaded.

Rayvis, who was assigned Sizemore's case after his defense team requested a new judge, wasn't swayed. After mulling the case over the weekend, the judge restored the full 16-month prison term from the 2004 case that had been suspended in favor of a supervised release.

In urging the jail time, Deputy District Attorney Sean Carney stressed that Sizemore has had more than a few shots at redemption to no avail.

"I think the time has come for the court to revoke his probation," the prosecutor said earlier.

Arfar, however, argued that her client would have a hard time recovering in the slammer.

"How's that going to help him?" she posed. "How's that going to help anyone?"

Arfar said that she had found a treatment center and sober-living facility willing to take the Black Hawk Down soldier, whom she said has "literally fallen from stardom, sitting in a jail cell by himself."

"He wants nothing more than to recover," Arfa added.

Sizemore and his assistant, 33-year-old Jason Salcido, were arrested last month after getting into an argument with a desk clerk at the Four Points Sheraton in Bakersfield, where he was working on an indie film.

Hotel staff called the cops, who found the duo in their car in possession of two bags of crystal meth and accompanying paraphernalia, along with three medications for which the Hollywood tough guy had no prescription—Vicodin, Klonopin and Valium.

Per police affidavits obtained by the Bakersfield Californian, Sizemore admitted snorting methamphetamine as well as sleeping with a prostitute on May 7, the day before his arrest, while his girlfriend was upstairs in the same residence.

He pleaded not guilty on May 22 to five felony counts of transporting and possessing methamphetamine and possessing three controlled substances without proper prescriptions, offenses that could land him in prison for up to six years.

His next scheduled court appearance is July 16 in Kern County Superior Court. There is no immediate word how his pending prison sentence will affect that case.

Sizemore is also facing additional time for a stemming from his 2003 conviction of misdemeanor domestic violence for allegedly striking former girlfriend and ex-Hollywood Madam Heidi Fleiss. Sizemore remains free while the case is on appeal, with the next hearing set for July 20.

(Updated June 26, 2007 at 10:04 a.m. PT.)