With the 2023 NFL season just days away from kick-off, Patriots cornerback Jack Jones can reportedly put his legal woes behind him.
According to Chris Mason of MassLive.com, Jones moved his scheduled court date up to Tuesday and agreed to a new deal in Boston Municipal Court. Jones received a nolle prosequi — a formal notice where prosecutors agree to drop charges — in exchange for one year of pre-trial probation and 48 hours of community service.
Jones, 25, was originally arrested on June 16 at Logan Airport after TSA officials reportedly found a pair of guns in his luggage.
The 2022 fourth-round pick was charged with two counts of possession of a concealed weapon in a secure area of an airport, possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card, unlawful possession of a firearm, carrying a loaded firearm, and possession of a large-capacity feeding device.
Jones pled not guilty to weapons charges during an arraignment hearing in East Boston days later, and was released after posting bail.
He was originally scheduled to appear back in East Boston District Court on Aug. 18 for a probable cause hearing, but that hearing was moved to Friday, Sept. 15.
After Jones’ hearing was rescheduled, legal expert Michael McCann tweeted that such a delay could signal that a plea deal was being hashed out.
“Could be a sign a plea deal is in the works for Jack Jones,” McCann tweeted. “(A plea deal is the most likely outcome in how his case ends, with his main goals being to avoid jail time and to give the Patriots reason to not cut him).”
In the nolle prosequi obtained by MassLive, the Suffolk County District Attorney noted in the filing that the prosecution could not prove that Jones had knowledge that he possessed the firearms in his bag while going through security at Logan.
The legal briefing read:
“The Commonwealth states that consistent with its standard of review in all cases, it has thoroughly reviewed all the evidence in this case and determined that it cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Jones had knowledge that he possessed the firearms in his bag at the time of the incident,” the DA said in a court filing. “In addition, pursuant to M.G.L. Section 140 Chapter 129C(j), Those exempt from having a firearm identification card include ‘any resident of the commonwealth returning after having been absent from the commonwealth for not less than 180 consecutive days or any new resident moving into the commonwealth, with respect to any firearm, rifle, or shotgun and any ammunition there then in his possession, for 60 days after such return or entry into the commonwealth.’
“The Commonwealth has been provided documentation and verified that Mr. Jones purchased both firearms lawfully in the state of Arizona and has taken steps to become a lawful gun owner in the state of Massachusetts within this 60-day period.”
There still stands a chance that Jones faces additional discipline from the NFL for his arrest. But with Jones’ legal charges now dropped, the talented defensive back can focus solely on football entering his second year in the NFL.
“At times it can be difficult,” Jones told reporters on Aug. 23. “But, I try not to let the outside affect what’s going on on the field. So I try to come out here and just focus all on football and let the outside be the outside and worry about that outside.”
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