Felony Assault Charges Against Jeremy Stephens Dropped
|Great news for UFC featherweight and longtime employee, Jeremy Stephens, broke today. Apparently the felony assault and burglary charges he was facing from an incident spawning from a 2011 incident have been dropped. The news comes by way of Stephens’ manager, Ryan Hass, as he first confirmed with MMA Fighting.
Stephens and a friend were originally arrested in October of 2011 in Des Moines, Iowa, along with a man described as Stephens’ friend. On the evening of the incident one of Stephens’ friends was charged with willful injury and assault causing bodily harm. Stephens only spoke with authorities that night and was neither arrested nor taken into custody on the evening of the incident. However, that wasn’t the end of the incident as the situation affected one of the UFC events in 2012.
Stephens was arrested just hours before his scheduled bout with Yves Edwards at UFC on FX 5 in Minneapolis, Minnesota on October 5th, 2012. A warrant was issued in Polk County, Iowa for Stephens’ arrest sometime after the original incident but Stephens, who lives in San Diego, California, could only be arrested in that state or those surrounding it. Because Stephens came back to the area for work (his fight in Minneapolis with Edwards) local law enforcement were able to make the arrest and then transferred Stephens to Iowa before the fighter could eventually make bail.
The UFC tried to work with the local authorities and get Stephens out before the fight but the law enforcement agencies were strict in their rules and would not allow Dana White and the UFC to get Stephens out for his scrap. The fight with Edwards was cancelled and Stephens was facing the hefty charges along with missing his pay-day with the UFC.
Stephens has publicly maintained his innocence throughout the entire process. According to Hass, Polk County prosecutors offered Stephens a number of plea deals that would include no jail time, but the fighter refused, preferring to have the matter decided in court.
Apparently prosecutors dropped all assault and burglary charges Monday on the first day of the trial. Stephens plead guilty to one count of misdemeanor disorderly conduct which called for a sentence of time that he had already served. The charge also included an unspecified fine. Hass confirmed that Stephens is now in the clear with the law.
Stephens is 21-9 in his MMA career and most recently earned a unanimous decision victory at UFC 160 in May where he made his featherweight debut against Estavan Payan. So, with Stephens now on good terms with the law and boasting a 1-0 record in the UFC featherweight division, it will be interesting to see what the company wants to give Stephens next. Stay posted to BJPenn.com for more news regarding what’s next for Jeremy “Little Heathen” Stephens.