Mixed martial arts star Jon Jones gets probation for New Mexico hit-and-run

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 29, 2015 3:38 PM

(Reuters) - Mixed martial arts star Jon Jones was given 18 months' probation by a New Mexico judge on Tuesday for leaving the scene of a car crash in which a pregnant woman was hurt, according to online court records and local media.

Police said at the time that Jones had been recognized but fled after the accident in Albuquerque early one morning in April. The pregnant woman in her 20s was treated at a local hospital for minor injuries, police said.

After the incident, Jones, 28, was stripped of his title as Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light-heavyweight champion, a belt he had held since 2011.

According to a copy of a plea agreement published by the Albuquerque Journal newspaper after a hearing in New Mexico's 2nd Judicial District Court, Jones admitted to leaving the scene of an accident that caused great bodily harm.

Judge Charles Brown told the fighter he should make the equivalent of a weekly appearance for 72 weeks at a local elementary or middle school, martial arts academy or Boys or Girls Club to talk about what it takes to succeed and the risks of screwing up, the paper said.

"Tell them how hard you worked to get where you are and how one bad decision can take it all away," it quoted Brown as telling Jones.

Jones' lawyer Vincent Ward said his client reached out to police soon after the incident and has been seeking counseling.

"I think this has been a huge wake-up call for Mr. Jones," the newspaper quoted Ward as saying. "He's lost a lot ... He's been humbled and embarrassed. He wants to make amends."

Ward did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Albuquerque Journal said UFC President Dana White sat in the back of the courtroom during the hearing.

In a statement, the UFC said its Las Vegas-based lawyers will thoroughly review the plea agreement before discussing Jones' possible reinstatement to return to competition.

In 2012 Jones was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol after crashing into a telephone pole in New Jersey. He was fined and his license was suspended for six months, according to media reports at the time.

(Reporting by Daniel Wallis in Denver; Editing by Eric Beech)