By ZEINAB NAJM
HEIGHTS – State Rep. Jewell Jones (D-11th District) was sentenced to probation on charges relating to his April 6, 2021, drunken driving arrest.
Livingston County Circuit Judge Michael Hatty announced the sentencing terms in court March 17 which included two years of probation under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act.
The act allows for Jones’ record to be sealed following the completion of probation.
According to the Associated Press, the act offers grace to young people who make mistakes and have shown the ability to reform their ways. Hattey said Jones, 26, has shown that since being released from jail, the AP reported.
Hatty also sentenced Jones to 61 days in jail, but that evened out with the 61-day credit for time Jones served last fall.
Jones is expected to complete 100 hours of community service and pay court fines and costs.
Livingston County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Christina Richards asked Hattey for additional jail time, saying Jones failed to show genuine remorse and has repeatedly indicated that he believes he is above the law, according to the AP.
Following the sentencing, Jones said he was pleased with what happened in court, complimented his attorney’s work, and that he appreciated Hatty for sticking to the facts of the case.
Jones said he would like to help more young people in similar situations.
“I’ve learned quite a lot and especially being young and some of my conversations even, you know within my counseling and my therapy talking to some of those folks — there is a lot of other people in the same situation who are battling different things and the system,” Jones said. “I would like to make sure I take a more active role in helping some of those people.”
Jones previous pleaded guilty in February to two counts of resisting and obstructing police, reckless driving, escape of lawful custody, operating while intoxicated and possession of a weapon while intoxicated.
His plea agreement was brought back by the Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office after a request from Jones’ attorney, Byron Nolen. The same agreement was rejected by Jones when it initially was offered to him in November.
On Feb. 14, Jones posted the two apology letters he was required to write as part of his plea agreement on his Instagram page. The letters were addressed to Michigan State Police Troopers James Gilmer and Kenneth Harden.
The entire case stems from the April 6 incident in Fowlerville where Jones’ vehicle was seen driving erratically on I-96 before leaving the road and coming to a stop in a ditch.
A news release from Livingston County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Carolyn Henry said Jones’ blood-alcohol-level was 0.17 at the time of his arrest, more than twice the .08 limit for legally drunk in Michigan.
State Police officers said that when they arrived, Jones’ pants were undone and he was aiding a vomiting woman who was wearing no pants. Jones reportedly was uncooperative with responding officers and showed police badges instead of identification.
A tether was ordered after Jones pleaded guilty June 24 to leaving military training without notifying court officials or his attorney. Jones attempted to tamper with the tether Sept. 6 by putting a sock underneath the tether, Richards said.
Jones, jailed following his third bond violation, attempted to sneak a universal handcuff key into jail following his bond revocation hearing Sept. 14. It allegedly was found taped to the bottom of his foot during a routine search when he began his incarceration.
The key was found after Jones was taken into custody following his bond revocation hearing where he pleaded guilty to violating the conditions of his release for a third time following the drunken driving arrest.
A Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office motion for bond revocation stated that Jones tested positive for alcohol three times on Sept. 3. His alcohol tether recorded a transdermal blood alcohol concentration level of .023 at 12:59 p.m., .023 at 4:37 p.m., and .022 at 7:09 p.m., the motion said.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])