Jonathan Babineaux avoids jail time in drug case

Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux to avoid jail time. (Curtis Compton,ccompton@ajc.com)

Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux to avoid jail time. (Curtis Compton,ccompton@ajc.com)

Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux, in a plea deal reached last Wednesday, will avoid jail time in a drug related case.

Babineaux’s felony charge of marijuana possession was reduced in Gwinnett County Court to three misdemeanor counts of marijuana possession, according to his agent Jack Bechta and his attorney Patrick McDonough.

Bechta, in an e-mail to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, said Babineaux pled no contest and was sentenced to 12 months of probation and a $1,500 fine on one count. The other two counts were suspended and will not be prosecuted if Babineaux completes the probation.

“He pleaded no contest, was direct, forthcoming and cooperative with the DA’s office,” Bechta said. “Jon, told me that he ‘was embarrassed’ by the incident, it was a bad decision and that he will become a better person for it. He said he will accept the consequences, move on and that he’s ready to focus on the season.”

McDonough, who represented Babineaux, told Alex Marvez of Foxsports.com about the case late Monday.

He spoke with the AJC early Tuesday morning.

“He essentially has a 12 month probated sentence as long as he does what he’s supposed to do, pays his fines and doesn’t get in trouble and the other 24 months would be suspended, ” McDonough said. “He was very excited to put this behind him so he can focus on what he’s really good at, football.”

Babineaux is believed to be a first time offender under the league’s substance abuse policy.

“I do not know his position with the league,” McDonough said. “I am hopeful that with a no contest misdemeanor charge that they will treat it accordingly. But I’m not privy to what the NFL is doing.”

Babineaux was arrested in December on charges of possession of marijuana during a routine traffic stop.

Babineaux, 28, was with another man, 25-year-old Aaron Robinson of Minneapolis, who also was arrested. Robinson was charged with possession of marijuana, a felony.

Gwinnett police originally stated both men would be charged with intent to distribute, but later released a statement clarifying the charges. Babineaux and Robinson were charged with possessing more than an ounce of marijuana, but not with intent to distribute. The charges are still felonies.

Babineaux and Robinson were stopped as they drove north on I-85 in Babineaux’s 2005 Cadillac Escalade EXT.

“It’s cut and dry,” Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. David Schiralli told the AJC. “He was stopped for a traffic violation.”

Schiralli said the officer searched the SUV because he smelled marijuana. The officer found three bags containing a total of 40 grams of marijuana, Schiralli said.

In addition to the possession charges, Babineaux is charged with having no tag light and driving without a license and with an expired tag. He also was charged with tinting his car windows too much.

The Falcons drafted Babineaux in the second round out of Iowa in 2005.

He signed a five-year, $25 million contract extension with the team in November 2008.

101 comments Add your comment

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jake Walker, D. Orlando Ledbetter. D. Orlando Ledbetter said: Falcons DT Jonathan Babineaux avoids jail time in drug case. Now, the League must rule of his playing status. http://bit.ly/9aXh3D [...]

Elvis

July 19th, 2010
11:47 pm

Freddie Falcon is my homeboy

July 19th, 2010
11:55 pm

Come on Babs! We need you clean and not doing this stupid s*it! We have a SuperBowl to win! Go Falcons!!

Freddie Falcon is my homeboy

July 19th, 2010
11:56 pm

Dare I say it?? Third!

Falcon Josh

July 19th, 2010
11:56 pm

Now get ready for camp and cut all this bull$h*t out!!!! Go Falcons

Freddie Falcon is my homeboy

July 19th, 2010
11:58 pm

Hey DOL, What do you think the NFL is going to do to Babs now?

buckhead benny

July 20th, 2010
12:06 am

What a hell of a job his attorney did. Kudos to him- Orlando you should give out his name so when somone else is in a bind like this they maybe able to call him-

How in the hell does a felony marijuania possession get reduced to no jail time and a misdeamenor- Babineaux may have one of the better attorney’s PR people in professional sports.

Kills his girlfriends pitbull gets off of it when his notorious teamate Michael Vick had garnered a lof of attention for killing pit bulls.

Gets caught with felony amounts of pot and gets a misdeamenor and no jail time where the average person would be behind bars. In addition, he has escaped the wrath of Goodell over both incidents.

Hmmm.. don’t understand how this guy doesn’t get suspended for time and others have for less…..

sla dog

July 20th, 2010
12:09 am

come on BABs we need all you falcons to be focused on winning all year long. be smart big guy

Chaseolla'

July 20th, 2010
12:10 am

sounds like a train wreck ready to happen, STUPID,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

gimmie a break

July 20th, 2010
12:13 am

How often does anyone get pulled over for having a missing tag light? Appears to be profiling of fancy cars and SUVs for suspected wrong doers. Selective enforcement of a minor infraction like that to look for other things is just another way for police to be biased in the way they treat people. I see people illegally crossing the road all the time in Gwinnett on Buford highway too. It must be a crime wave with all the jaywalkers and no tag lighted cars out there. Thankfully the Gwinnet police are here to save us!

Freddie Falcon is my homeboy

July 20th, 2010
12:29 am

I actually got pulled over 2 weeks ago for a blown tag light bulb. The officer checked my DL and ins, and I was on my way in about 5 mins. I also didn’t have 40 grams of weed on me either. That helps…

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ATLHOMER, D. Orlando Ledbetter. D. Orlando Ledbetter said: Jonathan Babineaux avoids jail time in drug case http://bit.ly/cBY32o [...]

BoyWonder

July 20th, 2010
12:30 am

Yet another reason to avoid paying to see the pro-thugs posing as …ahem….professionals

Those of us in the real world would be shown the door of their office.

Yeah, Gimmeabreak, the Gwinnett police do target shiny Escalades with blacked out windows ridin on 22’s. That screams thug smokin doper. What planet did you just drop in from? This is still Gwinnett County, Georgia. Not Baltimore, NY or Detroit – thank god – and not yet.

This guy should be fired – period.
Then go smoke your dope in all your spare time.

Break given

July 20th, 2010
12:34 am

Dear Gimmie a break, Yes people are stopped for broken tag lights and expired tags. Gee, if I remember right. Timothy Mcveigh the Oklahoma City Bomber was caught during a traffic stop for a missing license plate and several homicide and robbery suspects have been caught for minor equipment violations. Wouldn’t you know that when Babineaux got stopped for his tail light the officers found drugs. Sounds like they were DOING THIER JOB TO ME!!

Tell it like it is.

July 20th, 2010
12:39 am

people that pull this kind of stuff thank thier above the law,Think again!!

Chris

July 20th, 2010
1:12 am

I love the game of football. I am starting to really not like the athletes that play it at the pro level and in the SEC (as much as I love the dawgs). It seems like every time I turn around a football player is being arrested or going to jail. Is this because there are so many more football players on rosters than that of the other sports? Why don’t you see baseball or basketball players getting in as much trouble? Basketball has cleaned up their image so much since the Artest fiasco. What is going on in football, but in any case I hope we don’t loose Babs for long because we will need him! Go Falcons!

Chris

July 20th, 2010
1:13 am

BTW what do you think Mr. Ledbetter about my assumptions of the other sports?

ToccoaBird

July 20th, 2010
1:15 am

Time for the Falcons to cut their loses before this turns into another Vick

FalconsFan284

July 20th, 2010
1:25 am

As much as it pains me to say this…there is no place in Atlanta’s locker room for this kind of stupidity. Babs is a good player for the Falcons and one of those guys I end up cheering every Sunday. That is why this is so painful for me to say. Whether it is this year or next the Falcons have little choice to to purge this kind of insipid player from their roster!

DLED—–Would you and all your breather en, in the media, quit using the term pleaded. 90% of the time the correct word is pled or plead, however you want to write it as both are perfectly acceptable. Pleaded was originally used because anchor people continuously screwed up reading their TelePrompTers and didn’t know the correct way of saying plead (p led) or plead (p leed). And now you know. And knowing is half the battle! G I Joe! :-D

[...] be charged because his friend had a medical marijuana license in California. Well, Babineaux has pleaded down to three misdemeanors, two of which can be dropped if he stays clean for one year. Bottom line: There’s an outside [...]

willieghatesdrugs

July 20th, 2010
6:34 am

PAY ALL THESE IDIOTS MINIMUM WAGE AND THEN THEY CAN;T AFFORD TO BUY DRUGS , HE GETS A BIG CONTRACT, VICK GOT A BIG CONTRACT , DO YOU FOOTBALL FANS SEE THE PATTERN HERE. ONLY WINNING A SUPER BOWL THIS YEAR WILL GIVE YOU AMNESTY JOHNATHON.

willieghatesdrugs

July 20th, 2010
6:35 am

BY THE WAY I ALWAYS KNEW THAT THE FLORIDA GATORS WERE CROOKED .

GEORGIA

July 20th, 2010
6:48 am

as long as he ready to contribute later on in da seasoncuz we have enough deph 2 withstand it.maybe dis would be a good chance 2 put ja98 at dt and start kroy or sid goddammnittt!!!!!!!!!!!

Dee

July 20th, 2010
6:57 am

ToccoaBird,
Why are you ignorant people still crying about Michael Vick? He has moved on with his life and you need
to move on also.GO MR.VICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

tim

July 20th, 2010
7:13 am

GEE, His agent forgot to mention he also found God. Blah, Blah, Blah…

Babineaux is also a dog killer. I hope he breaks a leg this year, no, both legs.

RUSSO

July 20th, 2010
7:25 am

What about his girlfriend dog he killed? Cut that trash!

Pamela McGregor

July 20th, 2010
7:42 am

Recreational drugs are a bit hit in the US. People from all walks of life think nothing of hitting up on illlegal stuff and then claim that they are squeaky clean. I remember a college professor and his wife who worked in nursing; devout Catholics who thought nothing was wrong with weed. Eventually their son turned out to be an addict. They are now divorced…Casual users, eh? My point is: Why would a professional football player be any different?

Brian

July 20th, 2010
7:59 am

The Falcons need to cut this punk. There is no place for a thug like this in the Atlanta locker room. We’re not the Raiders and this isn’t Dallas. Still don’t understand why we didn’t get rid of him before. What is this, his 3rd time getting in trouble?

Billy O

July 20th, 2010
8:08 am

The dog he killed attacked his girlfriend…..what was he supposed to do…..let it mangle her?

He made a bad choice with the pot….notice I didn’t say mistake….and the courts have rendered a decision. If he stays out of trouble from here on then we should forgive and forget. None of us are perfect, so quit judging him.

JROLL1

July 20th, 2010
8:11 am

DID BABS EVER GET HIS LICENSE?

Paddy

July 20th, 2010
8:31 am

No jail time no suspension. Lets play some football. Next case!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

July 20th, 2010
8:50 am

FREDDIE FALCON — I don’t know if you’re under one policy (substance) abuse if they can still do something to you under another (conduct) policy. Waiting to here back from the league.

JROLL1 — I’m assuming he did. The DA would have thrown that part if he hadn’t taken care of his license issue.

BRIAN & BOY WONDER — You’re acting like a reactionaries. Tough times never last, but tough people do. You never did anything REALLY stupid in your 20s?

Buckhead Benny — Love your name.ATTORNEYS’ name is PATRICK MCDONOUGH.

Chris –I know fans that try to separate the games from the off the field behavior.

FALCONSFAN284 — Duly noted. You sound like my legal research and writing instructor, Mr. Roy Hoffman.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

July 20th, 2010
8:54 am

You all be nice to each other in here. I have to go do my civic duty this morning.

ALSO, if you are not following on TWITTER, GO AHEAD AND SIGN UP TODAY. IT’S FREE. We’re having a little contest today and AJCFALCONS is off to a great start with 184 new followers before most launched their campaigns.

http://twitter.com/AJCFALCONS

concerned

July 20th, 2010
9:05 am

A model citizen,Good moral and ethics.He would fit in the superbowl team that went to MIAMI a few years back.

Stu

July 20th, 2010
9:13 am

GO WEED FTW.

The TRUTH

July 20th, 2010
9:15 am

HEY Billy O !!!!!!!!! Get your facts straight, THE DOG DID NOT!!! DID NOT attack his girlfriend. I can imagine where you pulled that info from…. HE PUNCHED THE DOG IN THE HEAD after having a FIGHT with his girlfriend. She wasn’t even home and he called her to tell her to come home because the dog was acting lethargic…. YOU THINK???????????????? WHAT A COMPLETE CREEP.. HE IS THIS HUGE MAN WHO BEAT AN INNOCENT DOG!!!!!!! SCUM, PURE SCUM… seriously. The saying goes you can judge a man by his treatment of animals…. EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PIECE OF HUMAN TRASH… and he then gets caught with drugs… FRIGGIN LOSER !!!!!!!!! SHAMEFUL AND PATHETIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Animal abusers should be locked away for life. You will also be able to tell the good hearted, classy people with how they stick up for him. It says ALOT about someone who agrees with this poor behavior… At the end of the day… POOR POOR INNOCENT ANIMAL. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THUG!!!!!!!!!!

Robert

July 20th, 2010
9:23 am

Do Killer and druggie.. another reason not to spend my money on this team. Author plueese

middler and so tired of all the rhetoric :

July 20th, 2010
9:23 am

Was part of the plea and bargain down a requirement to get a valid driver’s license? And if there is some reason Mr. Babineaux can’t get one, does he know he is not permitted to drive, no matter what?

tired of thugs

July 20th, 2010
9:28 am

Billy O you’re a liar.

He was talking to his gf on the cell while bashing the dogs skull into a wall. Amazing how a story gets distorted through time.

Get rid of this pos.

Sid

July 20th, 2010
9:31 am

gimmie a break

July 20th, 2010
12:13 am
****************************************************************************
Personal note to “gimmie a break” Profiling? This should have been a clue: “In addition to the possession charges, Babineaux is charged with having no tag light and driving without a license and with an EXPIRED TAG. He also was charged with tinting his car windows too much.” See, they make those decals with different colors and numbers so the officers out there risking their lives to protect both of us can distinguish who has paid their tags and who haven’t. Often, someone with an expired tag has also let their insurance lapse. Congratulations Babs for keeping your Progessive policy (what’s that girls name, she’s HOT) up to date but letting your tag expire and not renewing your State of GA Drivers Liscense.

By the way, why is nobody talking about Roger Goodell? If I am not mistaken wouldn’t he wait for the court case to finish then rule on any suspension for the player…………I’m just sayin’.

deegee

July 20th, 2010
9:33 am

Gwinnett County police are working with ICE in a government program designed to round up and deport illegal aliens for the purpose of ridding Gwinnett County of drug traffickers. It matters not to Gwinnett County whether the individual is actually involved in drug trafficking or not.

In the case of our felony offender Babineaux, the drug traffickers’ customer walks free after being caught with 40 grams of pot in his car. I would bet that in the same day Babineaux got his probation for a felony, some poor illegal immigrant cleaning lady got deported.

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Sid

July 20th, 2010
9:39 am

To deegee: Ship her out of here…………………..!!! Good bye, don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya…………!!

Sid

July 20th, 2010
9:42 am

Who?

Flowery Branch, Ga. — The Atlanta Falcons have received official word from the NFL that third-year linebacker Robert James has been suspended for the first four games of the 2010 regular season.

The NFL issued the following statement Thursday afternoon:

“Robert James of the Atlanta Falcons has been suspended without pay for the team’s first four games of the 2010 regular season for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances. James’ suspension begins on Saturday, September 4. He will be eligible to return to the Falcons’ active roster on Monday, October 4 following the team’s October 3 game against the San Francisco 49ers. James is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games.”

Drafted in the fifth round of the 2008 draft out of Arizona State, James spent his rookie season on Injured-Reserve and appeared in just one game of the 2009 campaign.

deegee

July 20th, 2010
9:59 am

That’s good, Sid. I guess if she were 6′5″ and could play football she could stay. Apparently there is no level of criminality that warrants punishment for a professional footbot. BTW, of what consequence is a $1,500 fine for Babineaux? He probably spends more than that on a pair of shoes.

NOLA

July 20th, 2010
10:09 am

Babs like a typical ‘con fan was riding dirty with the icky icky stuff. I think this clown has been listening to too much rap music and thinks he is really a thug.

Typical dumb ‘con player who can’t do simple things including arranging a delivery of mary jane.

No wonder you folks lose all the time. You have too many fools on your team. This friggin idiot just can’t get out of his own way long enough to stay on the field.

I thought ‘cons were trying to clean their house and only wanted choir boys on the team. Why is this thug still on your team?

It won’t matter anyway. you know who your daddy is. get ready for your rear end kicking this season. :) :) hahahahahah.

You folks are going to win the superbowl this year. :) :) hahahahah.

‘con fans are so gullible.

NOLA

July 20th, 2010
10:16 am

Chris

July 20th, 2010
1:12 am
I love the game of football. I am starting to really not like the athletes that play it at the pro level and in the SEC (as much as I love the dawgs). It seems like every time I turn around a football player is being arrested or going to jail. Is this because there are so many more football players on rosters than that of the other sports? Why don’t you see baseball or basketball players getting in as much trouble? Basketball has cleaned up their image so much since the Artest fiasco. What is going on in football, but in any case I hope we don’t loose Babs for long because we will need him! Go Falcons!

—–
it’s just the ‘cons. ‘cons just have dumb players. the rest of the league especially the saints don’t have this problem.

just the ‘cons. this is arthur blank’s m.o. He is the chief thug. they learn from him.

who dat dude

July 20th, 2010
10:19 am

superbowl? The falcons? NO WAY!!!!!!!!!
WHO DAT SAY THE GO BEAT DEM SAINTS!!! NOT THE FALCONS!!
WHO DAT
WHO DAT
WHO DAT

M. Johnson

July 20th, 2010
10:27 am

You never did anything REALLY stupid in your 20s?

Just to be clear Mr. Ledbetter, which “stupid” thing are you referring to: killing his girlfriend’s dog, possessing marijuana, driving with marijuana or the broken tail light? It is so disappointing when the people who cover these athletes make excuses for them.

Give. It. Up.

deegee

July 20th, 2010
10:36 am

Seriously, I would like to hear from Butch Conway, the Gwinnett county sheriff and Danny Porter, the Gwinnett county DA. How do you justify spending millions of taxpayer dollars on a drug war and then let felony offenders go free? People that talk tough and are in support of the Arizona law claim that they are taking a stand against drug crime in their community. They say it has nothing to do with bigotry. That’s BS. You can’t be in favor of sending a strong message to Washington against crime and then turn a blind eye to what just happened in Gwinnett county with respect to the Babineaux case. Thousands of people are dying on both sides of the border so that people like Babineaux can enjoy his drug of choice. What do you think he did right after he got off with a slap on the wrist? Do you think that he popped a Pepsi and went to church? If you want to send a message then you failed miserably in this case.