Today in an Orange County courthouse, former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of reckless driving, and one felony count of evading a peace officer and driving against traffic. By reversing his initial not guilty pleas, Rampage will be granted a plea bargain which will keep him out of jail as long as he meets the requirements of the plea bargain.
In addition, Rampage’s sentencing will be deferred until January 7, 2010, his felony charge will be dismissed, and he will only be charged for the one misdemeanor count. If he fails to meet the requirements of his plea bargain, he will be charged and sentenced on both counts.
In a prepared statement detailing the requirements of the plea bargain, Rampage’s attorney, Carol Lavacot, issued the following statement:
“Today, Quinton entered into a plea agreement that was fashioned to place more time between the instance and the resolution. The agreement is analogous to a deferred entry of judgment in that the plea to count two, evading a peace officer and driving against traffic, will be withdrawn and dismissed at the end of one year if Quinton’s doctors are assured that he has maintained good physical and mental health and he has complied with the other terms of the agreement. He will be seeing his doctor’s regularly with bimonthly reports provided to the district attorney. He will also perform 200 hours of community service, which will be designed to reach as many young people as possible.
Quinton’s decompensation on July 15, 2008, was precipitated by multiple factors interacting with one another. None of these factors included drugs or alcohol. It is the opinion of his doctor’s that Quinton suffered a brief episode of delirium, which was reactive to situational and metabolic difficulties. He is learning to manage the stressors in his life and has been working with a nutritionist to maintain his physical as well as his mental health.
Quinton, from the beginning, has wanted to take responsibility for his actions. He has learned a great deal about his physical body and about mental health. During this next year, Quinton has chosen to share his knowledge of how good nutrition, exercise, and sufficient sleep leads to success. He will be speaking to groups of young people in the hope that his unfortunate incident can be turned into something positive for others.
I think it’s very fair, considering the circumstances.”
These charges stemmed from the former champion’s July 15th incident with Costa Mesa Police. Rampage was weaving his Ford pick-up truck in and out of lanes on a flat tire. A motorcycle officer attempted to pull the fighter over, however Rampage ignored him and continued to talk on his cell phone.
Rampage continued to evade Costa Mesa police, hitting three separate vehicles along the way. He ran multiple red lights and drove on the sidewalk, “causing pedestrians to flee in terror.”
After a short pursuit, Rampage finally stopped his truck, which contained a large image of the him on its side. He was forced to lay flat on his stomach as officers had weapons drawn on him.