UFC champion Jon Jones breaks silence after accepting plea to avoid jail time from DWI arrest
Jones was stopped last week with a half-empty bottle of alcohol and a gun in his vehicle
UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will not face jail time after entering a guilty plea to a charge of driving while intoxicated stemming from a March 26 incident in New Mexico. Jones agreed to one year of supervised probation as part of the plea deal, provided he follows the terms of the agreement.
Jones (26-1, 1 NC) must serve 96 consecutive hours in a Community Custody Program (similar to house arrest) and complete 48 hours of community service. Other terms of the deal include Jones paying a $500 fine and taking part in a 90-day outpatient treatment program. The latter will be allowed to take place via video conferencing due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"His attorney and Mr. Jones have been made aware that if he fails to do this, the state will seek to impose the balance of any jail time without regard for any exceptional circumstances," Bernalillo County district attorney direct of communications Michael Patrick said.
Jones was arrested last Thursday in Albuquerque, New Mexico -- where he lives and trains -- on charges of aggravated driving while intoxicated, negligent use of a deadly weapon, no proof of insurance and possession of an open container of alcohol. The latter three charges were dropped as part of the plea deal, which has not yet been approved by a judge.
The 32-year-old Jones broke his silence through a statement from his publicist. Neither UFC nor president Dana White has yet to publicly comment.
"While we all work to understand and cope with stress and uncertainties surrounding the current state of our world, I want to express how truly disappointed I am that I have become the source of a negative headline again, especially during these trying times," Jones said. "I am disappointed for letting down the people I care about the most, my family, friends and my fans.
"I accept full responsibility for my actions and I know that I have some personal work to do to which involves the unhealthy relationship I have with alcohol. I have dedicated so much time and energy to improve my community and I will not allow this personal setback to hinder my work within the community when we need it most. I truly appreciate the support I have received from the community of Albuquerque and all my fans around the world. I very much look forward to putting this behind me. Thanks you all for your continued love and support and please take care of yourselves."
Police responded last week to reports of gunshots only to find Jones parked in his running vehicle with a half-empty bottle of Recuerdo and a black handgun beneath his seat. Jones, who failed multiple sobriety tests, initially denied any knowledge of the gunshots before police found a spent bullet casing that was determined to come from his gun.
Jones will wear an ankle bracelet and be on supervised probation for one year. There will also be an interlock ignition placed on any vehicle he operates, meaning he won't be able to start it without taking a Breathalyzer test. He will still be able to use marijuana with a medical card.
Although the Bernalillo County's Community Custody Program (CCP) will allow Jones to be home with his family, he will be monitored on a daily basis and subject to random drug testing. A positive test for alcohol or illegal drugs could result in a loss of his CCP privileges.
Jones, who last fought at UFC 247 in February when he outpointed Dominick Reyes via disputed decision, must report to this program within 90 days.
The setback marks Jones' second DWI charge after pleading guilty in 2012 in his native New York.
No stranger to brushes with the law, Jones has been stripped of his 205-pound title a record three times due to disciplinary actions and a pair of failed drug tests. Last October, he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after being accused of slapping a strip-club waitress in the genitals. In 2015, he was arrested for felony hit-and-run and drug possession after fleeing a traffic accident on foot.
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