Almost a week back Jon Jones was accused by a waitress of getting physical with her. The charges pressed against him may end up with him being behind the bars for six months. However veteran defense attorney doubts that the case will actually hold up.
“Assuming it all actually happened, I would love to defend him,” attorney David C. Serna told MMA Junkie. “I don’t know if there’s any kind of crime here.”
Jones will have to appear in court on Aug. 20. for a bond hearing rescheduled from June after a warrant was issued for his arrest for non-appearance. As per his representatives, he only became aware of the charge after being notified by a media report.
According to the waitress’ statements given to the police, the 205 pound UFC champ slapped her in the vagina, put her in a choke hold and spun her around in the air. The level of allegations will make the crime come under battery charges, which is a petty misdemeanor in New Mexico. That would mean that the case would go up in front of the police officer who filed a criminal summons against the fighter, and not the district attorney. The procedure is the result of a compromise between legislators and state attorneys to avoid overloading the judicial system, Serna said.
“It is odd, because typically you’d want the cop to be a witness,” Serna said. “In this case, he can’t be a witness, because he’s also the prosecutor.”
The officer, listed in court records as Jonathan Cortez, will do all the things as an attorney would. He’s required to follow the same rules of evidence and can even cut plea deals before the case proceeds before judge Victor Valdez in Albuquerque Metropolitan Court.
“It’s just like a typical trial, although I guess it’s more like ‘People’s Court,’” Serna said. “Some cops are used to doing these officer-prosecuted cases. Others aren’t, so others are at a severe disadvantage if they don’t know the rules evidence.
“They’re held to the same standard as any lawyer. So if the defense lawyer is making all kinds of objections based on admissibility, and the cop doesn’t know what to do, a lot of these cases fall apart.”
Serna said that the officer has to prove that Jones committed “unauthorized touching” of the alleged victim in a “rude, angry or insolent manner” to meet the definition of battery. He sees several loopholes in in the summons that could be attacked by a defense attorney.
“I think there’s big problems with these allegations, even if you assume them all to be true,” Serna said. “I don’t think it meets the definition of battery.”
Albuquerque-based defense attorney Roman R. Romero added that the alleged lack of notice claimed by Jones’ reps could also provide fodder for a defense attorney on the “depth or competence” of the investigation into the charge.
“There’s something blatantly missing: his side of the story,” Romero said. “This is a fight town. We love our fighters. Everyone knows that during the relevant time period, Jon Jones is prepping for a very important fight. Super easy dude to find. Anyone could have walked into Jackson-Wink and found him wrestling, if you’re actually looking for him.
Jones took to Twitter to dismiss the charges. Even company president Dana White favored with “Bones”.
“Some of the videos are coming back. I’ve seen some videos (of what happened). I don’t want to talk about it, because I don’t want to hurt his case or whatever, but it’s unfortunate that, when you’re famous, these type of things happen to you,” White told TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter. “From what I’ve seen so far, when it all surfaces and comes to the top … how should I word this … looks good for Jon.
“Looks very, very good for Jon Jones. It’s quite sad actually.”