A Michigan state legislator who was arrested for drunken driving is accused of tying a handcuff key to his foot. The key was discovered after the arrest of state Rep. Jewell Jones, a Democrat from the Detroit area, on Tuesday for violating release conditions, authorities said.
“He truly believes that he doesn’t have to follow the judge’s orders, doesn’t have to follow rules,” said Livingston County Sheriff Michael Murphy, who runs the jail in Howell.
“He’s the reason that politicians and elected officials get the bad rap.” Jones, 26, returned to court Wednesday to face new charges over the key.
Jones is accused of “taping a handcuff key to the bottom of his foot with clear tape” that later was found by corrections officers, an assistant prosecutor said in a court filing.
Defense attorney Byron Nolan said Jones “realizes the seriousness of the allegations.” The sheriff said he doesn’t know why Jones had a handcuff key.
“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,” Murphy said.
Jones has been in and out of court since April, when he was charged with drunken driving, resisting police, and other offenses. That case is pending.
On Thursday, the speaker of the Michigan House stripped Jones of his committee assignments, per the Detroit Free Press.
“Rep. Jewell Jones’s increasingly disruptive and distracting behavior in the months following his April arrest has eroded my confidence in his ability to conduct the people’s work,” said Speaker Jason Wentworth, a Republican.
“That behavior hit a new low yesterday when he appears to have made a bizarre attempt to escape from jail.”
Wentworth said he was taking the action “to protect the public’s interest.”
Image Credit: Getty