UFC Fighter Jon "Bones" Jones Sentenced To 18 Months Probation For Hit-And-Run Accident (Video)
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (ESPN) -- Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones pleaded guilty Tuesday in New Mexico District Court to one count of leaving the scene of an accident, but he will avoid jail time.
Judge Charles W. Brown granted Jones a conditional discharge and sentenced him to supervised probation for up to 18 months. The plea deal allowed Jones to avoid an official conviction of the one felony count, providing he adheres to the deal's conditions.
Jones, 28, pleaded guilty to fleeing the scene of a three-vehicle crash on April 25 in Albuquerque, a crash that resulted in a pregnant woman being treated for injuries. According to witnesses, the crash occurred when Jones ran a red light in his SUV.
The eight-time defending champion reportedly fled the scene on foot after he circled back to grab something from the vehicle. He turned himself in to New Mexico authorities the following day. The UFC stripped Jones of his 205-pound title on April 28.
Shortly after he accepted Jones' plea agreement with the District Attorney's Office, Brown noted, "Mr. Jones, you got real lucky."
The court also granted a request to not limit Jones' ability to travel for his professional career. He was ordered to make 72 appearances at charity or youth outreach programs. He received no fines or fees.
In a brief statement addressed to the court, Jones apologized to the victim, the victim's family, his family and his supporters.
"I am here to accept full responsibility for what happened and for my actions," Jones said. "I'm really hoping you can give me an opportunity to redeem myself."
Afterward, he released a statement giving a more in-depth apology while adding he doesn't know what his future plans are.
"My actions have caused pain and inconvenience in the lives of others and for that I am truly sorry and I accept full responsibility," Jones said. "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."
UFC president Dana White attended Tuesday's court hearing. The UFC has not yet provided an official statement on the matter.
During his arguments in court, Jones' attorney called the April incident a "huge wake-up call" for his client.
At the time of the crash, Jones (21-1) had been scheduled to defend his title against Anthony Johnson at UFC 187 on May 23. Daniel Cormier (16-1) replaced Jones on the card and won the title by submitting Johnson in the third round. Cormier is scheduled to defend the title against Alexander Gustafsson this weekend in Houston.
Jones is the first champion in UFC history to be stripped of a title because of disciplinary reasons.
In May 2012, he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence after he crashed his Bentley into a telephone pole in Binghamton, New York. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor DWI and avoided jail time.
Last December, the Nevada State Athletic Commission mistakenly tested Jones for substances of abuse while he was training for a Jan. 3 title defense against Cormier. Jones tested positive for metabolites of cocaine, but he was still allowed to fight, as cocaine is technically not a banned substance out-of-competition. He defeated Cormier via unanimous decision.