LAS VEGAS -- A judge accepted a plea deal Thursday reducing
felony charges against suspended NFL player Adam "Pacman" Jones
to a gross misdemeanor that will get him probation in return for
his testimony about a strip club triple shooting.
The 24-year-old Tennessee Titans cornerback did not appear
before Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Tony Abbatangelo, who
accepted the written agreement and waived Jones' preliminary
hearing on two felony coercion charges.
Abbatangelo scheduled Jones to plead no contest Dec. 5 in state
court to one charge of conspiracy to commit disorderly conduct.
Jones will be sentenced later to one year of probation, Clark
County prosecutor Victoria Villegas said after a brief hearing. Two
charges of coercion, a felony carrying a possible sentence of one
to six years in prison, will be dropped.
"The goal is to find the shooter," Villegas said.
Las Vegas police have not linked Jones to the Feb. 19 gunfire
that left three people wounded outside the Minxx Gentlemen's Club
at the end of NBA All-Star weekend in Las Vegas. No one has been
charged in that case.
But police called Jones "an inciter" of a melee that broke out
after he showered dancers inside the strip club with dollar bills
pulled from a black plastic trash bag -- a stunt known as "making
Witnesses told police that Jones and members of his entourage
threatened people while they were being ejected, and that Jones
spoke outside the club with a man who was suspected of opening fire
Defense attorney Robert Langford declined to say if Jones knew
the identity of the gunman. He cited the ongoing police
Las Vegas police Lt. George Castro declined to say what
information police believe Jones can provide.
Two co-defendants in the case also are taking plea deals, said
Langford, who represents all three.
Jones' bodyguard, Robert "Big Rob" Reid, 37, of Carson,
Calif., is scheduled to plead no contest Dec. 5 to conspiracy to
commit disorderly conduct and receive one year probation. Reid
faced one felony coercion charge.
Sadia Morrison, 25, of New York, will plead no contest to a
felony battery charge in return for dropping other felony charges.
Morrison faced five charges, including coercion, felony assault
with a deadly weapon and battery. She is expected to receive up to
three years' probation, and her conviction would be reduced to a
gross misdemeanor if she stays out of trouble, Langford said.
Jones' Atlanta-based attorney, Manny Arora, has said he believed
Jones could beat the coercion charge, but a trial might hurt Jones'
chances for reinstatement to the NFL. Arora did not immediately
respond Thursday to messages seeking comment.
Jones has been arrested six times since the Titans drafted him
in April 2005 from West Virginia, and has other criminal cases
pending. A felony count of obstruction in Georgia from a February
2006 arrest has been postponed, and August 2006 public intoxication
and disorderly charges in Tennessee were delayed pending the
outcome of the Las Vegas case.
Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Jones for the 2007 season
for violating the league's personal conduct policy. The Titans have
declined comment and said Jones' future will be addressed when he's
The NFL Players Association is asking Goodell to reconsider
Under the Las Vegas plea deal, Jones received a suspended
one-year jail sentence. He also must attend an anger management
program, complete 200 hours of community service within a year and
submit to random drug testing.
Langford said the probation and community service requirements
might be fulfilled near Jones' home in Tennessee. Jones already is
subject to the NFL's drug testing program.
The three people who were wounded -- club employee Tommy
Urbanski, co-worker and bouncer Aaron Cudworth and club patron
Natalie Jones -- have each have filed civil lawsuits seeking damages
The lawsuit by Urbanski, who was paralyzed from the waist down,
also seeks damages from the NFL, the Titans and the owners of
Harlem Knights, a Houston strip club that hosted events at the
Urbanski's wife, Kathy, expressed anger this week about Jones'
plea deal and said she wants the shooter identified and charged.
She declined comment Thursday.