Jon Jones — who was stripped of his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship earlier this week following his involvement in a hit-and-run in Albuquerque, New Mexico — could be facing up to three years in prison, according to Fox Sports 1 legal analyst, Rob Becker.
Becker appeared on FS1‘s UFC Tonight, and gave his prognosis for the former UFC champ’s court case, and — as previously mentioned — it doesn’t look good for Mr. Jones.
“The next step is up to the prosecution. They have to decide whether to go in front of a Grand Jury and try to get an indictment. But given that it seems clear what this guy did, and there are so many witnesses to it, I think it’s inevitable that there will be an indictment.
“I think he’ll get three years. Now, the judge could knock it down to two years for mitigating circumstances, but in order for that to happen he’s going to have to show that when he left the scene of the crime he didn’t think there was any reason why there would be a serious injury. And considering he knocked the victim’s car into another car, that’s going to pretty difficult to do.”
The current charge against Jon Jones is “knowingly leaving the scene of an accident, causing bodily harm or death,” which is a third-degree felony in the state of New Mexico, and a third-degree felony conviction almost always includes a sentencing of up to three years in state prison.
Becker said if he were representing Jones in this case, he’d try to get a plea deal for Jones, so that Jones would be facing as little time in prison as possible. Jones did appear in court for the first time earlier this week, and he didn’t enter a plea at that time.
“I would suggest that he try to get a plea bargain for as few years as possible, maybe a year, or a year and a half. And I would try to get him to stress whatever reasons he has for trying to say, ‘hey, I left the scene because I just didn’t think there was a big deal here.’”
Jones was set to defend his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship against Anthony “Rumble” Johnson on May 23. Now, the UFC has Daniel Cormier filling in for Jones, and the winner of the fight on May 23 will be crowned the new UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. Most believe that Jones — due to missing this event — is losing out on nearly $4 million.
[Image via Jayne Kamin-Oncea / USA Today Sports]