Thursday, July 1, 2021

Legislator accused of violating criminal bond provisions

 Jewell Jones
State Rep. Jewell Jones, D-Inkster, currently awaiting trial on drunk driving and gun possession charges, narrowly avoided jail time last week as he was accused of contempt of court for violating his bond provisions.

Jones was accused by Livingston County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Christina Richards of contempt of court, alleging that he had provided less than honest information to the court to avoid required random drug and alcohol testing. The court-ordered testing was a condition of Jones' bond as he awaits a court date on charges of drunk driving, resisting police, possession of a weapon while under the influence of alcohol and reckless driving stemming from his April 6 arrest. 

Jones, 26, had obtained permission to forgo testing during June 12-26 claiming he would be at National Guard training and required to be at Camp Grayling during that time.

Prosecutors produced social media posts of Jones at the Wayne Planet Fitness during the week of June 21 and at several House committee meetings during the time he claimed to be at guard training. Livingston County District Judge Daniel Bain cautioned Jones that he was “very disappointed because I think that you were not candid.” Bain told Jones the only reason he had previously allowed him to forgo testing was because of Jones' claim that he would be living at Camp Grayling for training

Jones' lawyer, Ali Hammoud, however, claimed that leaving the National Guard camp is a usual practice and that Jones was given permission to leave by his commanding officer. Hammoud said that Jones was unaware that he was required to notify the court if he left the training camp. 

The judge remained unconvinced and told Jones that he believed he planned to leave the National Guard camp for his elected duties when he asked to be excused from his bond-ordered random drug and alcohol testing.

“You were deceptive with your own attorney, less than candid with prosecutor's office and with this court,” the judge said, and ordered Jones to wear an alcohol ankle monitor and undergo an immediate drug test following the court hearing last Thursday.

When Jones was arrested April 6, his blood alcohol level classified him as “super drunk” according to police. After several reports from other motorists of an erratic driver on Interstate 96 in Livingston County Handy Township, responding police officers found Jones in a black Chevy Tahoe with a personalized license plate “ELECTED” which had rolled into a ditch from the shoulder of the road. 

Police reports indicated that Jones was argumentative, abusive and refused to provide identification to officers. Jones told officers at the scene he was “going to call the governor.” Police claimed his behavior necessitated the use of pepper spray and a taser to subdue him. A loaded firearm was observed in the cupholder of the console of the vehicle, according to police reports. Emergency responders transported Jones' unconscious female companion to a nearby hospital for treatment, according to reports.

Jones was subsequently suspended from the Inkster auxiliary police force following his arrest.