break than he'd hoped for - thanks to his violent criminal history.
Instead of life, the judge gave the apologetic defendant 40 years without chance of parole.
The short, husky ex-pugilist, wearing blue jeans and a leather-trimmed denim jacket, turned with shocked disbelief to face two former mistresses - young women and the mothers of three of his children - and a third woman who described herself as a good friend.
King and the women, who had come to court to beg for mercy, seemed dumbstruck.
"Forty years," the defendant whispered to his girlfriends several times, before he was taken away in handcuffs.
"Jocko, I love you," one of the women had told him just moments before.
It was a "side of Jocko I didn't know," another mistress told the judge, after hearing that King, while in prison and cooperating with federal authorities, allegedly had her latest boyfriend shot in the leg out of ''jealousy."
Before King, of Morris Street near 23rd in South Philadelphia, was taken
from the courtroom, U.S. District Judge Stewart Dalzell stated his reasons for the stiff sentence.
"King is manifestly a defendant without the slightest concern for the value of human life," the judge said, referring to King's prior criminal record, which included manslaughter and wife-bashing, and to his admitted trafficking in massive quantities of drugs.
"At the age of 15, he apparently considered it something of a sport to go to the roof of a house and start firing indiscriminately, ultimately shooting Hilda Young in the back, causing her death," the judge disclosed.
King was sentenced in 1979 to two years in prison for the killing.
"He also thought nothing five years later of punching his wife so hard that she dropped one of his many children to the floor. Besides injuring the head and body of the infant, he beat up the mother of the child until she lost consciousness," the judge continued.
The beating resulted in a 3- to 4-year prison sentence, according to court records.
King admittedly was a leader of a drug ring the judge estimated grossed about $20 million on the sale of more than 200 pounds of cocaine and more than 514 pounds of crack since 1986.
Assistant U.S. Attorney William Nugent said King was one of 15 co- defendants indicted last April 1 by a federal grand jury for conspiring to sell drugs at or near the corner of 24th and Morris streets in South Philadelphia.