A Hailey man has been sentenced to one day in jail and two years of supervised probation, along with 80 hours of community service, for leaving the scene of an accident and DUI.
Jeff Kirk Jones, 58, was originally charged with felony aggravated battery and three misdemeanors—DUI, leaving the scene of an accident and having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle at the time of arrest. However, an amended criminal complaint filed April 8 charged Jones with only two misdemeanors—leaving the scene of an accident and DUI.
Jones pleaded guilty to both charges on May 13, taking an Alford plea for the charge of leaving the scene of an accident, which he said he had no recollection of. An Alford plea is defined as a plea that states that the defendant maintains his innocence but, fearing more severe penalties if convicted, enters a plea of guilty.
Jones’ community service is to be completed in six months and he also must pay more than $500 in fines and court costs, in addition to paying restitution and having a suspended driver’s license for at least three months.
According to a probable-cause affidavit written by Blaine County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Kyle O’Brien, Jones was implicated in a hit-and-run accident in Bellevue and was subsequently charged with the DUI while driving on state Highway 75 south of Bellevue, all on the same evening of Jan. 19.
During the sentencing hearing in 5th District Court, Jones expressed deep remorse and apologized to everyone in the court, including the victim of the hit and run, for “being so stupid” and “for getting behind the wheel while drunk.”
“I want you to know I’m not a bad person. It was the alcohol and I have not had a drink since and will not again,” Jones said.
Magistrate Judge Jennifer Haemmerle said she thought his statement was very honest and implored him not to drink again for the sake of his health.