Champaign News-Gazette: Verdell Jones pleads guilty to DUI

Former Indiana guard Verdell Jones III plead guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol last week, shortly before leaving to begin his professional career in Greece, according to this report from his hometown Champaign News-Gazette.

According to the report, Jones was charged with misdemeanor DUI after he was pulled over for speeding. A breath test showed his blood alcohol content at 0.14, well above the legal limit of 0.08. After pleading guilty, he was sentenced to a year of court supervision. If he completes that period without further trouble, he’ll have no record of a conviction. A judge also ruled he would be allowed to leave the country for employment.


  1. I imagine you are kinda required to report on stuff like this when it hits another paper and while I personally would support all drunk drivers be taken out back and shot,
    this is too much information that I do not need to know.

    Sounds like he handled it like a man and since we don’t shoot them, I wish him the best.

  2. Very good to see VJIII will be able to play in Greece. I also wish him the best and good to see he manned up to this.

  3. Ron (in Utah), if we took all the young adults that drink and drive “out back” and shot them, America would lose almost an entire generation. I know it’s a very serious problem, and I believe offenders must receive stiff punishment, but your language is inappropriate. Before we shoot people in their early 20’s for drinking and driving, let’s start by executing all the 9-11 terrorists (now in captivity), convicted murderers, and child rapists.

    Ooppps, I started to slide into political comments. Sorry, my bad.

  4. Podunker, This is my fourth try to respond.The others were not fit to see the light of day. If you had lost a child to a drunk driver you may feel different. I have no objections to adding the terrorists, murders and child rapists to my “out back” solution.

    Sorry, my last response on this, This is not a good subject for me.

  5. When I was 18 years old(summer after my freshman year @ IU), I was hit by a drunk driver that ran through a stop sign at a very high speed. I was traveling down a 2-lane highway and had zero time to react as he T-boned me just behind my driver’s door(1973 Firebird). I was spun into the blunt end of an unburied steel guardrail(probably propelled in excess of 70 mph with the force of the impact) on the shoulder of the road ..Ended up going immediately airborne while cartwheeling end over end through heavy trees…Finally came to rest at the bottom of a 40 foot ravine. My Firebird had three tires sheered off and completely ripped from axles. Every portion of the car was smashed in except for the hood…My girl friend and I were not wearing seat belts and the windows were rolled down…The car ended up resting on it’s side at the bottom of the steep ravine…Gasoline fumes everywhere. She was in shock and could barely breathe.

    You never forget 10 seconds of terror in the thrashing and violent noise to what you presume will be the next impact your impending death. We ended up shaving the bark of a massive tree but somehow survived. The drunk driver ran from the scene of the accident into the woods – He was chased down by a family that lived near the highway.

    I lifted my girlfriend out of the passenger side window opening(we were all tangled torn and dirt in our mouths)…We had completely changed positions in the car during all the flipping and cartwheeling through the trees and down the embankment …I thought she was going to take her last gasp of life as I placed her on the ground beside the car…She had suffered a fractured vertebrae in the center of her back and four broken ribs. Four days in the hospital..I walked from the scene but then lost consciousness in the ambulance. My shoulder hand been torn to shreds. It was June 21st. It was the first day of summer..

  6. Ron, Harvard,Chet…I doubt that those who are victimized by the stupendous gall of individuals who make the choice to drink beyond control and choose to drive anyway feel the tragic outcome is much different than those who lost a loved one at the Twin Towers or the Pentagon.

    I hope VJ3 and anyone else so abusive that they gloss over or attempt to justify the tragedy in such behavior give it some thought and accept how abusive of tolerance that behavior is. No, the language is not inappropriate. It is completely proportionate to the act. Imagine if you are an eight year old who loses a father or a mother; or you are a father or a mother who loses an eight-year old this way.

  7. I am a convicted drunk driver and an alcoholic. I have been sober since the night of my arrest. I beg your forgiveness. Those of us active in AA understand that this is a chemical disease with no cure. I pray that everyone out there drinking can stop before they lose control of their minds. Just two weeks ago, a wonderful lady I know got another DUI and just gave up, committed suicide.

    Alcoholism is partly genetic (my mom was a drunk) but partly environmental too. Young people on IU’s campus are exposed to very unhealthy drinking practices. I started binge drinking at my own college.

    I pray that Verdell has hit bottom now, that he goes into recovery and just stops drinking. Because it only gets worse. Never better.

  8. It really makes me sad to read all of these stories. I cannot imagine losing a brother or a child so my heart foes out to you all. Everyone does not drink and drive. The summer before I entered 9th grade, one of my best friends was killed by a drunk driver. She lived 5 houses down from me. We would ride bikes together and as we got older would sneak out together…we helped each other in Hurricane Hugo with rations of food, water, and ice. We danced at the end of year 8th grade dance and when I was visiting my dad out of state I got the call. I never made it to her funeral but I had a youth minister that was kind enough to drive me 2 hours to her graveside. We prayed together and I lost it. I went to a counselor for many sessions, it crushed me. I wrote her mom a letter to give me closure a few months later and let her know how much her daughter meant to me.

    When I was 15 I had to get a job to help out in a single parent household. A kid from Michigan moved down South and started working at the same grocery store. We became fast friends…he was a year older than me…17 at the time and I was 16. He and a buddy spent the night with me one night and we watched movies and had a blast. The next night he was hit at an intersection by a drunk driver and killed. I have never been to a funeral with a bigger crowd….maybe over 1000 people and I cried the entire time I carried the casket, every step. I saw a counselor after that as well.

    I just did not get it, I could not accept it. I swore I would never drive drunk that day! I was put in position to drive after drinking, maybe drunk at 20 years old. The next day I was physically sick, I will never forget it. I hurt for weeks. To today at 36 I will not touch a steering wheel after drinking and have not since that time when I was 20. I am as careful as can be. I was the kid that would walk the entire way across B town after that one incident and get my car in the morning. I would do it today too but I rarely drink now.

    Don’t have time to proof this, hope it reads ok. IU sports mean nothing to me when we speak of this subject. My life was impacted forever. I think of those 2 often and know I will see them again one day.

    Sorry for your losses guys!

  9. Ron (in Utah); I am very sorry for your loss and can not begin to imagine what you went through. While not even in the same universe, I lost two of my best friends to drunk drivers. One friend was killed by a repeat offender and one friend was killed by a teenage first offender. I will never forget the impact those tragedies had on their immediate families. You and your family have my sincere sympathies.

    I believe your child and my friends and all the other innocent victims of these crimes are in a better place and are at peace. And, as J Pat said, I believe we will all see our loved ones again some day.

  10. I completely agree with and share the sadness of having lost a very, very loved one…a worshiped symbol of strength and security,… my father, to a drunk driver. The only thing worse than losing him was and is knowing he was the drunk driver who took him away from us. I’ve missed him incredibly every day of the 35 or so years since.

    I hope this helps someone who read this to at least think of his/her children and loved ones before they turn the key. If you do, then throw the key away where you can’t find it.

    (Thank You God, the other driver involved lived to continue to be a good father and family man).

  11. It is never okay to drink even one drink and drive. Drunk driving impacts hundreds of lives through the injury or death of just one innocent victim. No one can know the extent of the grief family members and friends have experienced and will continue to experience.

    There is no person who goes out drinking and says I think I will injure, maim, or kill someone tonight. Most of these individuals if not drinking, would risk their own lives to help save another person.

    There are legal consequences for driving over the limit. Whether they are too harsh or too lenient is not for me to say. What I will say is that no one should drink even one alcoholic beverage and get into a vehicle and drive.

    At IU on any football game day, there are hundreds of people drinking alcohol. A good share of these will drive away from the tailgate fields too intoxicated to do so. These people would never mean to injure someone. But, the reality is that this could happen due to alcohol.

    On any given Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night, there are those students as well as others who go to the bars and get way too drunk to even walk home. Many drink and drive. An open forum needs to take place to answer this social problem we experience here in Bloomington.

    Taking someone out back and shooting them is an easy thing to say when blogging due to anonymity. However, alcoholism and other substance dependences are diseases of brain chemistry. The treatment for this is abstinence. However, abstinence is a difficult and sometimes long road with a huge learning curve. Demonizing someone is not a solution to this issue. Public discussion and education about abuse and dependence is warranted.

    Attending college and getting drunk or stoned is not a right of passage. It is where dependence starts. 10% of those students who are using, will become dependent.

    Look at yourself: Have you ever, even once, driven after drinking one alcoholic beverage or even taken a pain pill? Have you ever ridden with someone who has had too much to drink but maybe they were more sober than you. Have you partied in the tailgate fields knowing that your friend will be driving home and they have been drinking?

    I wish Mr. Jones well and hope he considers the impact alcohol has had on his life as well as the lives of others. He will need to suffer the consequences anyone suffers as a result of this criminal action.

    Please know that there are hundreds of thousands of those whom suffer with chemical dependencies which have begun the path or whom are traveling the path of recovery. Some may never have driven drunk. Others may have driven and been intervened on by the court system. These are wonderful and intelligent persons who have much to give the community. And make every effort to give back and encourage others to find a better way.

    It is one thing to spout off but it is another to have open social dialogue about a hideous disease that starts as a simple drink after the prom. Should we be prepared to discuss this rationally and come up with a viable plan, we might be able to curtail this type of violent injury and death in the future.

    My prayers are with those of you whom have been the victims of a drunk driver. I have sat across from those who have injured or killed someone by driving and drinking as well as those who have had a loved one taken. It is heart wrenching and life changing either way.

  12. And why do you care to have your anonymity? How many are currently dying on our roadways from texting and driving? Why are auto manufacturers building televisions in cars? How many times have you been in a car and been saved from a terrible crash because another pair of eyes in the car saw what something happening on the road that you had missed?

    We all need to take more individual responsibility to keep the roadways safe.

    Corporations have basically handed an addictive beverage to teenagers by not building into phone technologies limits to their usage while in a moving vehicle. And auto companies need to focus on responsibility. Return to building cars for an intended purpose a safe destination from point A to point B rather than building mobile living rooms with wheels.

    And please tell me how many restaurants and bars care how many drinks they serve to someone knowing they’ll be hopping into a car? Why do we call an hour in a bar getting plastered a “Happy Hour?” Why do we still allow smoking in public establishments knowing the air is filled with cancer-causing carcinogens? The booze, phone, tobacco, and auto industries care far more about the dollars in your kid’s pocket than ever seeing them live a full and long life. Tons of advertising campaigns(a needle in a haystack of profits)spent to pretend they give a rat’s ass. If one drink is too many, than why on earth do bars exist with parking lots? Why don’t I see more taxis leaving restaurants and bars? Why do we build cities so reliant on auto transportation instead of public transportation? Why do we not put jail terms on texting in a moving vehicle? Why do we let auto companies build machines that are game rooms teleconferencing centers on wheels? Answer: G-R-E-E-D.

    VJ made a mistake. We wouldn’t have enough crosses to crucify every perfectly sober calculating corporate profiteer that has never put lives before potential huge profits. And should we even mention gun control? Should we mention what’s happening on in terms of gang violence on the streets of Chicago while teachers strike? …Should we mention the hundreds of wackos with easy internet access to weaponry and assault rifles? Should we mention porn addiction and the profits an industry put before the impressions upon a 10 year old with access to such images with the click of a mouse?

  13. And what of all the sports venues that serve alcohol? How many would go to a professional baseball game without the giant beers offered with the peanuts, popcorn, and hot dogs? Do the ballpark owners care if the average fan in the stands has piled the equivalent of a 12-pack of beer into their system before taking to the roadways? Should be boycott attending sports venues that perpetuate and build booze into the fabric of the experience as if it were as American as a slice of apple pie?

  14. And why does booze have to be served at a state fair? Do the blue ribbon pigs enjoy your company more when you’re equally as obese and belching ‘Old Style’ their way while gawking at their luscious layers of bacon producing blubber?

  15. What if you couldn’t start your car with a breathalyzer test? There goes the restaurant, bar, sports, night club, gambling casino, amusement park, and petroleum industries right down the tubes. Hell, we’d immediately take 50% of the vehicles immediately off the sober roadways while totally bottoming out are economy.

    Take away text messaging and apps from a phone and who the hell wants a new phone? I recently heard they expect the new iPhone 5 to account for 8,000,000 new phone purchases…At $600 per phone that accounts for 4.8 billion injected into our economy for a toy and distraction.

    Take sports, booze, and Apple out of our economy and we have no economy.

  16. If one beer is one too many to drive after eating dinner at a restaurant, than I am guilty as charged. My parents used to pile down 2 to 3 martinis some weekends of dining out and think nothing of putting the kids in the backseat of the car 30 minutes after the last swallow of the last drink. My father never appeared effected..My mom would seem totally drunk after one vodka martini. I was young and oblivious. I’m probably the only one in the family that’s doesn’t drink hard liquor(not yet, anyway).

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