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Jones avoids jail time, sentenced to probation

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Endicott native and former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon "Bones" Jones pleaded guilty to felony charges of leaving the scene of an accident and was sentenced to 18 months supervised probation after appearing in Bernalillo County (New Mexico) Court Tuesday. The incident occurred late April. Jones ran a red light in a rented SUV and hit the vehicle of a pregnant woman who sustained minor injuries. Jones's attorneys say the woman has fully recovered without serious injury.

Jones was facing up to five years of prison time. Judge Charles Brown called Jones a "lucky man." Jones was also mandated to make 72 speaking appearances at Bernalillo County Boys & Girls Clubs to talk about making poor decisions. Jones's probation was issued without travel restrictions.

UFC President Dana White was in the courtroom during the hearing in support of Jones. White and the UFC suspended Jones indefinitely and stripped him of his Light Heavyweight Title after his arrest as a result of the accident. Since then, Jones has not only been away from the sport, but has also been absent on social media, not having tweeted since before the hit-and-run.

Jones issued the following statement after the ruling:

"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."

Likewise, the UFC issued a statement regarding it's future with Jones:

"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.
More information will be made available following completion of this review."

This is the second bout of legal trouble Jones was in just this year. After his win over Daniel Cormier on January 2, it came to light that he had failed a drug test, testing positive for cocaine, a month prior. He checked himself into rehab, a stint which lasted just one day.

Cormier won the Light Heavyweight Title formerly belonging to Jones after beating Anthony Johnson on May 28. Cormier next fights Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 192 in Houston Texas on October 3. Should Jones be reinstated, it's assumed that he will be given a chance to regain his title against the winner of Cormier/Gustafsson. However, that remains just speculation.