UFC lightweight Jeremy Stephens was released from Polk County Jail on Wednesday afternoon, 12 days after being taken into custody on charges of willful injury and assault causing bodily harm stemming from an alleged incident in Iowa last year.
Stephens, 26, was arrested Oct. 5 in Minneapolis, hours before he was scheduled to fight Yves Edwards in a UFC contest at the Target Center. The seven-year mixed martial arts pro was extradited to Des Moines, where he remained in jail on a $100,000 bond.
According to a statement published on Stephens' Web site (www.lilheathenmman.com), "Jeremy's legal team is already hard at work to prove what many already know; he is not guilty of the crimes he's been accused of."
During an altercation last year in the parking lot of a sports bar in Des Moines, the UFC fighter allegedly joined an associate, Dustin James Bachman, in repeatedly attacking an unnamed victim to the head and body. The victim, a male, lost consciousness and stopped breathing twice before being intubated and transported to a hospital in critical condition, according to a Des Moines Register report.
Bachman, 27, was arrested and charged the night of the incident, Oct. 15, 2011. His case is moving through the court system.
Stephens spoke to police that night but was not taken into custody until almost a full year later. Stephens was made aware of the charges against him, and given opportunities to surrender, Des Moines police said. The fighter's representatives claimed that this was false, and Stephens, who resided the last year in San Diego, Calif., was unaware of any warrant out for his arrest. The warrant only allowed police to take action in Iowa or surrounding states, which was the reason for his arrest in Minnesota, authorities said.
"There's witnesses that can prove that Jeremy had not assaulted anybody," Stephens' manager, Ryan Hass, told ESPN.com the day after his client was apprehended. "It's definitely a misunderstanding of his name becoming involved, other than him being a UFC fighter, it was his party, and him being friends with the guy that actually did it."
Stephens, in the statement released by his representatives, Evolution Agents, thanked everyone that stood by his side, particularly the UFC, which failed in multiple attempts to free him on bond the night of the bout with Edwards, but ultimately helped in securing his release Wednesday.