UPDATE: This story has been updated to include information provided by Jones and others after Wednesday morning’s hearing.
Michigan administrator Jewel Jones, D-Inkster, pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to driving under the influence of alcohol, which involved nearly a year of litigation.
“I resisted arrest on April 6, 2021. I was driving and owning a firearm when my blood alcohol level was over 0.08, ”Jones admitted in Livingston County District Court. “I carelessly drove the vehicle on the I-96.”
Jones pleaded guilty to two counts of resisting and obstructing a police officer, working under the influence of alcohol and possession of a weapon while intoxicated. He also pleaded guilty to additional charges of negligent driving and attempting to flee pending trial for the offense.
The charge of escape came as a result of a separate incident when Jones was jailed in September 2021 after violating the terms of his detention for the third time. While being sent to prison, Livingston County Jail staff said they found a handcuff key glued to the bottom of that leg, which led to further charges.
“The key to the handcuffs was found on my face when I was treated and placed in Livingston County Jail,” Jones admitted during a guilty plea hearing.
In exchange for a guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to drop two charges of resisting and obstructing a police officer, driving a car with high blood alcohol content, bringing weapons into a detention center and fleeing pending trial for the crime.
According to Livingston County Assistant Attorney General Christina Richards, he should write letters of apology to Michigan Police Officers James Gilmer and Kenneth Harden. Jones’ lawyer Byron Nolen asked the court to allow access to Gilmer and Harden’s staff records earlier this month. Livingston County District Court Judge Michael Hattie denied the request.
Prosecutors also agreed to recommend Jones the status of the Youth Internship Act on two counts: resistance and obstruction of a police officer, and possession of a weapon while intoxicated, because the initial incident occurred before Jones was 26 years old.
According to HYTA, defendants are removed from the court record after the person successfully fulfills the conditions of sentencing
Charges under the vehicle code and charges following incidents after Jones turned 26 are not accepted.
Jones is scheduled to appear before Hattie for sentencing on March 17.
Under the plea agreement, Jones will face a minimum of two years probation. He could still face up to two years in prison, as there is no prison sentence agreement.
“There is a minimum of two years for probation, but that doesn’t limit me from possible imprisonment,” Hattie said. “Any prison, if any, will be decided by the court.”
“We all make mistakes”
After the hearing, Jones said the decision to avoid trial was motivated by the need to return full-time as a representative.
Jones is allowed to attend the legislative hearings, but during his detention there is a curfew and restrictions on his whereabouts.
“I think we’re all making mistakes,” he said. “I don’t think it’s so important to be innocent. I don’t think it’s so much to be guilty. Sometimes you just have to accept the facts. I made a mistake. I made a lot of mistakes in my life, maybe “It’s just one of the ways I pay for it. I was willing to fight different lies at some point and time, but I have to put up with the mistakes I made.”
After the hearing, Jones was confronted by a man who witnessed the April 6, 2021 incident, who asked why it took Jones so long to plead guilty.
“For a long time, I was so focused on trying to prove my innocence by trying to fight the system, but at some point and time you just need to work out a few winning strategies with different people and realize that we can all come together,” Jones said. .
The man told Jones he had driven the representative a few miles down the freeway.
“You were out of control, driving at 75 miles per hour on your shoulder … a pedestrian walking with a gas canister … a parked car … you’d take them out, sir,” the man said as Jones walked away.
Letters of apology
Jones posted copies of the necessary apology letters on his personal Instagram page with the caption, “I did what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better. I not only accepted the request … I wrote two sincere letters of apology. 😚 Nothing in life is final. #HOLLA “
In his letter to MSP soldier Gilmer Jones apologized for his “passionate language” and actions. He said he prefers to work with Gilmer and other law enforcement officers to promote a safe environment rather than hostility.
“I have forgiven you, and I hope you can forgive me,” Jones wrote.
“We, the black people, have a hard time in our own struggle for justice, and we already have enough enemies to make the drastic mistake of attacking each other and adding more weight to an already unbearable burden,” Jones wrote in his letter. to Harden MSP soldier who is Black.
Jones said he “had no grievances” towards Harden, and “although I believe that on I-96 that day everything was wrong, I played a role in the fiasco.”
According to police, Jones was arrested after the April 6, 2021, military was called to Interstate 96 in the West near Fowlerville Road, in response to reports of a car driving carelessly. There, police met Jones and the woman in the car.
In a video shown in court in 2021, you can see officers fighting Jones while stopping. In the video, you can hear Jones say he wants to give his ID to the police, although he has refused several times before.
He also called one of the servicemen the word N and used other swear words.
Police twice used a percussion device and a pepper spray before Jones complied with officers ’request for his left hand so they could handcuff him. Jones was handcuffed and put in a Livingston County Sheriff’s car.
Jones’ blood alcohol content was at least 0.17%, according to a police complaint, which is more than twice the 0.08% limit at which a person can be convicted of drunk driving.