Thursday, November 18, 2021

Judge reinstates bond for state legislator

Jewell Jones
State Rep. Jewell Jones was expected to leave the Livingston County Jail Friday after posting reinstated bond and has until Dec. 10 to consider a plea deal offered by the prosecution.

Jones, who had been incarcerated for 60 days, was to be released on a $100,000 personal recognizance bond and on a second $100,000 or 10-percent bond with multiple conditions. Judge Michael Hatty reinstated Jones original bond based on his arrest on drunk driving and resisting arrest charges from an April 6 incident. He was ordered to jail on those charges after repeated bond violations including alcohol consumption, tampering with the alcohol monitor, misleading the court regarding his whereabouts and failure to pay the fee for the court-ordered monitor. The second bond was imposed in connection to charges filed after a handcuff key was discovered taped to the bottom of Jones' foot during jail intake processing in September.

As a condition of his bond, the Inkster Democrat must remain in the care of Church Elder Paul Turner, Jr. who operates CHOICE-Behavioral Health Management, an alcohol treatment program in Detroit. Jones must also wear a GPS and alcohol tether and adhere to a strict 9 p.m. curfew with his activities limited to attending Legislature sessions and attending legal counseling and medical treatment appointments. The judge also insisted that Jones, currently suspended from the Inkster Police Auxiliary, surrender all police equipment, including badges, identification, weapons, keys and gear to the police department or the court.

Hatty made it very clear that he would accept no breach of any of the bond conditions. “Mr. Jones, I don't want any excuses,” he said.

In addition to the bond reinstatement and reduction, Jones was offered a plea deal by Livingston County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Carolyn Henry. In exchange for a guilty plea to misdemeanor charges, the county would dismiss or make other exceptions for the outstanding felony charges. If he accepts the prosecution offer, Jones would be required to plead guilty to two counts of resisting and obstructing police, one count of operating while intoxicated, one count of possession of a weapon while intoxicated, one count of reckless driving and one count of escape of lawful custody. 

Jones' attorney, former Inkster Mayor Byron Nolen, said he would be discussing the offer with the lawmaker, “and see what he wants to do.” Nolen said he planned to post both bonds last Friday following the court hearing. 

Jones next court hearing is set for Dec. 10.