UFC Lightweight Jeremy Stephens granted continuance, jury trial for assault charges rescheduled for July 8

Rafael Suanes-US PRESSWIRE

For the second time since being arrested in October 2012, Jeremy Stephens' trial date has been delayed. He's now set to present his case before a jury in July.

Back in October, Lightweight Jeremy Stephens was arrested just hours before his scheduled fight against Yves Edwards at UFC On FX 5 by Minnesota authorities. After being transported to his home state of Iowa, where the warrant originated, Stephens was charged with 2 felonies and a serious misdemeanor related to a violent incident in 2011, which he was allegedly responsible for.

Following his rescheduled fight with Edwards at UFC On Fox 5 where he lost by 1st round KO, Stephens waived his right to a speedy trial. Instead of having his trial in January, Stephens was scheduled for a pre-trial conference in March and a jury trial in April.

On Tuesday, Bloody Elbow learned that Stephens was granted a continuance on his upcoming trial. The online court records for Iowa reveal that Stephens filed a motion for continuance at his status hearing on March 7 and that the trial has been once again reset for July 8. Additionally, Stephens, his attorney, and the county attorney have signed a discovery agreement.

Continuing a criminal trial is fairly standard procedure and it's not unusual for it to happen multiple times in a single case. The discovery agreement works as a way for both sides to streamline the investigative process going forward. The document outlines what type of discovery will be allowed, when it will be revealed, etc. The agreement prevents either side from wasting time and money through objections that would lead to additional hearings and pleadings.

The final outcome of Stephens' legal issues will come down to what's presented by each side through the discovery process. If, after reviewing what produced by the county, Stephens legal team believes they have a strong enough defense to beat the charges, they'll proceed to trial in July. If not, they'll probably look to strike a plea deal with the prosecutor for a light sentence.

HT: Big thanks to BE moderator Brandon Starr for helping this laymen through the legal points.

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