Jon Jones reaches plea deal in traffic case to avoid jail time

Jon Jones pleaded guilty on a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident and will serve 18 months of supervised probation.
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The former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has pleaded guilty on a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident and will serve 18 months of supervised probation instead of jail time, a New Mexico District Court announced.

Jones was also ordered to make 72 appearances for charity or youth outreach programs. He was not convicted of a felony and received no fines or fees.

Jones, 28, was involved in a three-vehicle accident on April 25 in Albuquerque where a pregnant woman was treated for injuries caused by the accident. Witnesses say Jones was the driver of an SUV that ran a red light and caused the accident.

Jones apologized for his actions in a statement on Tuesday:

“With regards to today’s decision made by the court, I am very happy to now be able to put this incident behind me. My actions have caused pain and inconvenience in the lives of others and for that I am truly sorry and I accept full responsibility. I have been working hard during this time away from my sport to grow and mature as a man and to ensure that nothing like this happens again. I have learned a great deal from this situation and I am determined to emerge a better person because of it. I apologize to those who were affected by my actions in this incident and I am hopeful that I will be given the opportunity to redeem myself in the eyes of the public, my family and friends as well as my supporters. I am not sure what the future holds for me but I plan to continue to do the work needed to be productive and successful in every aspect of my life.”

Following his arrest, Jones was stripped of his UFC title — the first time an athlete had his title stripped for disciplinary reasons — and suspended indefinitely.

Jones (21-1) was scheduled to defend his title on May 23 against Anthony Johnson at UFC 187.

The organization issued the following statement on Tuesday:

“The UFC organization is aware that Jon Jones reached a plea agreement with authorities in Albuquerque, New Mexico this morning stemming from charges associated with a motor vehicle accident earlier this year. As a result, UFC, through Las Vegas-based law firm Campbell & Williams, will thoroughly review the agreement before discussing Jones’ possible reinstatement to return to competition.”

This case marks the second time Jones has avoided jail time. He also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor of driving under the influence after a car crash in Binghamton, New York in May 2012.

- Christopher Chavez