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Jon Jones agrees to plea deal on DWI charge in New Mexico
6:52 PM ET
  • Marc RaimondiESPN Staff Writer

UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones agreed to plead guilty to DWI (second offense) on Tuesday, and he will not face any jail time if he follows the terms of a plea agreement, according to a spokesperson for the Bernalillo County, New Mexico, district attorney’s office.

Jones was arrested on four charges Thursday in Albuquerque.

Per the agreement, Jones must serve 96 consecutive hours in a county Community Custody Program similar to house arrest. In addition, Jones must complete 48 hours of community service, pay a $500 fine and take part in a 90-day outpatient treatment program.

Jones will be on supervised probation for one year, and an interlock ignition will be placed on any vehicle he operates, meaning he won’t be able to start his vehicle without using a device to test blood alcohol level. He will be able to use marijuana with a medical card.

At the time of his arrest, Jones also was charged with negligent use of a deadly weapon, no proof of insurance and possession of an open container of alcohol. Those charges were dropped.

Jones pleaded guilty to DWI charges in 2012 in New York, so Bernalillo County prosecutors considered this a second offense. Jones was facing 364 days in jail as a maximum penalty. That discipline could still come into play if he does not fulfill the sentence.

“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,” said Michael Patrick, director of communications for the Bernalillo County District Attorney.

The agreement needs to be approved by a judge.

“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 in a statement. “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 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.”

Bernalillo County’s CCP allows Jones to be home with his family, but he will be monitored on a daily basis, per the county’s website, during his four-day sentence. He must report to this program within 90 days.

Jones will have to wear an ankle bracelet, which tracks his movement. He will have to remain home “unless permitted by their tracker to be elsewhere.” In addition, he will be subject to random drug testing. A positive test for alcohol or illegal drugs could result in a loss of CCP privileges.

He must complete his 90-day outpatient treatment program within his one-year probation period. He will be allowed to do so via telemedicine due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“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,” Patrick wrote. “It is also the reason that we are agreeing to the 4 days on CCP 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.”

Jones was arrested Thursday after an Albuquerque Police Department officer said he heard a gunshot nearby. The officer spotted a man he identified as Jones in the driver’s seat of a black Jeep at around 1 a.m. local time. There was an open bottle of mezcal behind the passenger seat, the officer said. A handgun was found later.

The criminal complaint said Jones had “blood shot watery eyes” and “a strong odor of alcohol coming from his facial region,” and he admitted to driving earlier and had the intention of driving again. Jones did field sobriety tests and “performed poorly on all three of them,” according to the criminal complaint, which led to his arrest for DWI. Jones tested “at or above twice the legal limit” in a Breathalyzer test administered after he was arrested, the complaint stated.

In the arrest video from officer Brian Johnson’s lapel camera obtained by ESPN, Jones said he had been drinking vodka and told the officer he was “stir-crazy” being indoors and that this was his first drive in two weeks. Jones said he was pulled over after “being nice” to homeless people.

“I saw these homeless guys. I was being nice to them,” Jones said. “Having a conversation with them, treating them like humans.”

Jones, 32, a UFC champion, holds the records for title fight wins (14) and title defenses (11, tied with Demetrious Johnson). Jones (26-1, 1 NC), ESPN’s No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter, has lost once in his career, via disqualification in 2009. The Albuquerque resident and New York native is coming off a unanimous decision win over Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 on Feb. 8.

He currently doesn’t have a date or opponent set for his next title defense.

Jones has had several incidents outside of the Octagon, including a felony hit-and-run arrest in 2015. In October, Jones pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in a case in which he was accused of slapping a strip club cocktail waitress in the genital region. Jones has failed two drug tests administered by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, UFC’s anti-doping partner. He was suspended twice, but both times USADA cleared him of intentional use of performance-enhancing drugs.

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