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Former USC cornerback Jack Jones pleads guilty to felony burglary; judge has option to reduce charge to misdemeanor

Former USC cornerback Jack Jones pleads guilty to felony burglary; judge has option to reduce charge to misdemeanor
Jack Jones participates in spring practice at USC on April 11, 2017. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Former USC cornerback Jack Jones pleaded guilty to felony burglary Tuesday at Ventura County Superior Court relating to his June 8 arrest for breaking into a Panda Express restaurant in Santa Paula, according to online court records.

The plea was a change from his July 16 arraignment when he pleaded not guilty to felony charges of suspicion of commercial burglary under $950 not during business hours and conspiracy to commit a crime. The docket from Tuesday said the count of conspiracy to commit a crime would be dismissed at Jones' sentencing Sept. 12. On that day, a judge will have the option of reducing the felony burglary to a misdemeanor.

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Jones, a five-star recruit out of Long Beach Poly High who once predicted he would win the Heisman Trophy as a freshman, has experienced a startling fall after a sophomore season in which he had four interceptions and appeared to be building momentum toward an NFL career.

In May, Jones was dismissed by USC because of poor academics. He told The Times that he was informed at the start of second semester that he had to improve his grades. USC held him out of spring practice so he could focus on staying eligible, but he was unable to do so.

Jones was planning to enroll in a junior college — either Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut or West Hills College in Lemoore — for the 2018-19 school year to become academically eligible for the 2019 season. Asked if he intended to return to USC, Jones said he was keeping an open mind.

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