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Jon Jones pleads guilty to felony charge, won't get jail time

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KRQE

Jon Jones won't be getting any jail time.

The former UFC light heavyweight champion pleaded guilty on a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident and was granted a conditional discharge by Judge Charles Brown in Bernalillo County Second Judicial District Court on Tuesday. Jones was given 18 months of supervised probation.

Brown required Jones to make 72 appearances doing work with charity and speaking with children. Once the probation period is over, Jones will be re-sentenced per the terms of a conditional discharge. He has not been convicted of a felony and likely will not be if he fulfills the terms of his probation.

Jones issued a statement to the media 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," Jones said.

UFC president Dana White was on hand in Albuquerque to support Jones on Tuesday. The UFC released a statement later Tuesday. Jones will not be reinstated by the promotion until an investigation is done.

"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," the statement reads. "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."

Jones was arrested April 27 for leaving the scene of an accident involving death or serious injury. Jones crashed a rented SUV into a car driven by a pregnant woman. The woman, Vanessa Sonnenberg, broke her arm in the collision. Jones' attorney Vincent Ward said Tuesday that the victim has fully recovered and sustained no permanent damage.

Jones, 28, was stripped of the UFC title one day after his arrest and suspended indefinitely by the organization.

Witnesses at the scene said Jones ran a red light in his rented SUV on April 26 and struck the car driven by Sonnenberg. He then left his vehicle and ran, only to return. Witnesses said Jones took a handful of money out of the car and ran away again. Albuquerque police could not find Jones for nearly 24 hours before he turned himself in.

Cops found documents with Jones' name and references to the UFC and mixed martial arts in the abandoned vehicle. They also found a marijuana pipe.

In court Tuesday, Jones apologized to the victim, the court, the officers involved and his supporters, whom he said he "embarrassed."

"I am here to accept full responsibility for my actions," Jones said. "I'm hoping that you guys can give me a chance to redeem myself."

Jones (21-1) is regarded as the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world and one of the best ever. He has successfully defended the UFC light heavyweight title a record nine times after becoming the youngest UFC champion at age 23.

"Bones" was arrested in 2012 on DWI charges in upstate New York. He was given no jail time for that incident. Jones also tested positive for cocaine in January, was fined $25,000 by the UFC and spent a day in a rehabilitation facility.

Read the court documents related to today's hearing below:

News Release - Jon Jones Plea by Luke Thomas

Plea by Luke Thomas