Rep. Jewell Jones taken into custody after bond revoked in drunken driving case

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

Howell — State Rep. Jewell Jones was taken into custody Tuesday after his bond was revoked for a third violation of the conditions of his release since his April arrest on drunk driving charges.

The Inkster Democrat's alcohol tether registered alcohol use earlier this month and was tampered with on another date, prosecutors alleged.

"I am one to believe in graduated sanctions and not jailing this man until sentencing but I am going to revoke bond at this time," said Livingston County Circuit Judge Michael Hatty. Hatty moved up Jones' next hearing — a pretrial conference — to Friday.

Jones' alcohol level registered on Sept. 3 at 0.023 at 12:59 p.m., at 0.023 at 4:37 p.m., and at 0.022 at 7:09 p.m., according to court records. Three days later, on Sept. 6, "the tether was detected as a tamper for fourteen hours and there was a positive alcohol reading."

On Tuesday, Assistant Prosecutor Christina Richards said Jones after receiving notice of potential tampering sent a photo to the tether company of his sock pulled up under his tether. It remained like that for 14 hours on Labor Day, Richards said.

In his court appearance Tuesday, Jones took responsibility for the infractions. 

Attorney Ali K. Hammoud (left) of Dearborn talks to Circuit Court Judge Michael Hatty as his client, State Rep. Jewell Jones, D-Inkster, is detained and led out of the courtroom by Livingston County court officer Jim Borseth on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. Jones faces drunk driving charges stemming from an April incident on Interstate 96.

"This defendant’s actions — from his conduct during the charged crimes through each of the three bond violations — show that he believes that, as a person who writes our laws, that he is above our laws," Richards said. "There is also a very strong public perception that the defendant is getting special treatment because of his position.”

Jones was arrested April 6 after his black Chevy Tahoe drifted in and out of lanes along Interstate 96 before pulling off the shoulder and into a ditch, 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.

In June, Jones was accused of misrepresenting the circumstances surrounding military orders that prevented him from getting his court-ordered drug and alcohol testing. Instead of being at training with the Michigan National Guard at Camp Grayling, as he represented to the court, Jones tagged himself on Facebook as being at Planet Fitness in Wayne. Legislative records showed was in Lansing for committee meetings.

Livingston County Circuit Judge Michael Hatty

Also in June, Jones was ordered to stand trial on charges of resisting and obstructing a police officer; operating a vehicle with a high blood alcohol content; operating while intoxicated; reckless driving; and possession of a weapon while under the influence of alcohol.

In July, Jones was fined $1,000 for a bond violation in which he failed to pay the fee to keep his alcohol monitor tethering on.