Rep. Jewell Jones headed to February trial on drunken driving charges

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

Howell — State Rep. Jewell Jones will go to trial on charges of drunken driving and resisting police Feb. 22 following months of tumultuous pretrial preparations that included three bond violations and 60 days of jail time. 

Livingston County Judge Michael Hatty set the trial date in a Friday hearing in which he also denied the Inkster Democrat amendments to his bond condition that would have allowed him to meet with constituents around his district. 

State Rep. Jewell Jones, D-Inkster, at a hearing Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021.

Jones' current bond conditions require he wear two tethers and limit his travel to church, the residence where he's staying and the Legislature. 

The bond conditions, Hatty said, "were appropriate then. They are appropriate now."

Hatty set aside five days for the jury trial. Earlier this month, Jones declined a plea offer from the Livingston County Prosecutor's Office that would have dismissed several charges. 

Livingston County Circuit Judge Michael Hatty

Jones was arrested April 6 after his black Chevy Tahoe drifted in and out of lanes along Interstate 96 before pulling off onto the shoulder, according to Michigan State Police reports. His blood alcohol content was 0.19, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08, according to the police report. 

He was accused of struggling with troopers after the crash and allegedly told officers that he'd call the governor and that he had oversight of the Michigan State Police budget.

Jones was taken into custody Sept. 14 after a third bond violation. On Sept. 15, he was charged with two additional counts related to his alleged smuggling of a handcuff key into the jail a day earlier. The key is alleged to have been found taped to Jones' foot when he was being processed on entry to the jail.

His bond was reinstated and the plea agreement offered on Nov. 15.