A Democrat representative from Michigan, Jewell Jones, was detained after his release was denied from a previous incident. He is now facing more felony charges for being found in possession of a handcuff key after his bond was revoked.
According to The Detroit News, he was arraigned on accusations of attempting to flee while awaiting a criminal trial and bringing a weapon into jail. During Jones’ intake at the Livingston County jail, officers reportedly discovered the key taped to the bottom of his foot. He pleaded not guilty, and his bond was set at $100,000 cash or surety.
The weapons charge carries a four-year sentence, while the escape attempt carries a five-year sentence. Jones is accused of having an item that may be used to hurt someone or aid in their escape, Magistrate Jerry Sherwood said during the hearing.
Chief Assistant Prosecutor Carolyn Henry stated at the hearing, “Clearly this defendant has shown through his actions, through his decisions, through his choices, he has a total disregard to follow court orders, to conform his behaviors to the law, and he has a total disregard for public safety.” Henry continued, “he’s a risk to our community. He has shown this court that he is not going to follow [the] terms and conditions of bond that are set by this court. He has shown through his actions that he will lie to the court, and he will continue to do whatever he wants to do.”
Byron Nolen, Jones’ lawyer and former mayor of Inkster, the city where Jones is from, said that Jones is not a flight risk and has shown up to all of his hearings thus far. Nolen also expressed frustration with the accusation that Jones was trying to flee, noting that the key he possessed would not have helped him inside the jail.
Livingston County Sheriff Michael Murphy said, “This guy is a real piece of work and an embarrassment to all elected officials, and I believe he thinks somehow the laws do not apply to him. More than that, I am mad. Had the handcuff key ended in an injury to my staff or another inmate, I am not sure what I would have done, as my primary responsibility is the safety and security of my staff and inmates.”
Murphy also said he wasn’t sure why Jones had the key, stating, “You could run through unlimited possibilities. At the end of the day, folks are handcuffed to and from a facility. If someone has a handcuff key, that’s a bad day for us.”
The 26-year-old politician was detained for the third time for violating his bond in connection with a drunk driving accident earlier this year. According to authorities, his blood alcohol concentration was more than double the legal limit at the time. His alcohol tether detected alcohol in his system three times on September 3, which violates his bond, and he reportedly interfered with the tether on September 6.
Jones also violated his bond when he left Michigan National Guard training without informing the court or his attorney, as well as failing to pay the upkeep on his tether, which he was granted after his initial violation. In addition to violating his bond three times, he was caught spending campaign cash at a strip club.
Jones has been removed from all of his house committee assignments following his latest charge.
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