UFC light heavyweight Jon Jones on Tuesday reached a deal with prosecutors in his most recent legal snafu, copping a plea that includes four days of house arrest and one year of probation.
Jones, 32, was arrested on Thursday in his adopted hometown of Albuquerque, N.M., and hit with four charges – aggravated DWI, negligent use of a firearm, possession of open container and driving without proof of insurance – after officers responded to a single gunshot in front of a bar and found Jones, who subsequently failed a sobriety test and tested over twice the legal blood-alcohol limit.
In addition to his house arrest and probation, Jones may be required to wear an ankle monitor during his house arrest, complete 48 hours of community service, pay a $500 fine, complete a 90-day drug treatment outpatient program, and install an ignition interlock device in his car, per the agreement obtained by MMA Fighting.
Due to the coronavirus, he is permitted to attend the outpatient program via “telemedicine treatment.” Jones is also permitted to carry a medical marijuana card. In exchange for his guilty plea, the firearm, open container and insurance charges will be dropped. A judge will have to sign off on the plea agreement to make it official.
Jones rep Abe Kawa did not initially respond to a request for comment.
The pending punishments reflect Jones’ desire to quickly resolve the matter and the unique circumstances faced by the court during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a prepared statement by Bernalillo County District Attorney spokeperson Michael Patrick.
”Jones took responsibility for his actions early on in the case, and in doing so, the state agreed to one year (of) supervised probation,” Patrick wrote. “Normally, the state would be requesting a pre-sentencing report and a recommendation to substance recovery court, however, due to COVID-19 it is not clear the program can accept anyone at this time.
”It is also the reason that we are agreeing to the four days on (community custody program) with 90 days for turn-in (the metropolitan jail just reported a new case of COVID-19). Jones is still required to complete a minimum of 90 day out-patient treatment, maximum fines and fees, community service and all other requirements of reporting to probation. 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.”
The DWI charge was Jones’ second conviction for driving under the influence since a 2012 guilty plea in New York where he received a suspended license and a fine. Defense attorneys previously told MMA Fighting that Jones could be charged as a second-time offender, exposing him to a mandatory 90-day jail sentence with up to one year in jail instead of a mandatory 48 hours in jail and maximum of 90 days and one year of probation for first-time offenders.
Jones was due in court on April 8 for a bond arraignment where Jones would have entered a plea and a judge would have set the terms of his pre-trial release. But Jones now only needs to abide by the terms of his plea agreement to avoid future legal trouble.
The deal comes five months after Jones pleaded no contest to a disorderly conduct charge. The UFC champ received a deferred 90-day sentence and six months of unsupervised probation, in addition to other punishments, but avoided jail time after being accused of assaulting a female employee of a strip club. He originally pleaded not guilty before reaching the agreement.
In 2015, Jones also pleaded guilty to fleeing the scene of an accident after a hit-and-run crash that left a pregnant woman with a broken arm. The UFC subsequently stripped him of the title.
Defense attorneys told MMA Fighting that Jones’ past legal problems could come back to bite him in his most recent court case. But with the legal system drastically disrupted by the coronavirus, and concerns over spread of the illness in jails, prosecutors could also seek a resolution that doesn’t involve jail time.
Jones has not commented publicly on the resolution of his case.