Rep. faces felony charge with 2-year prison time, among other charges related to I-96 crash

    Rep. Jewell Jones | Michigan House Democrats photo

    A virtual arraignment for state Rep. Jewell Jones (D-Inkster) on Friday revealed that the 26-year-old lawmaker could face prison time related to his car crash on I-96 earlier this month.

    Jones was arrested on April 6 after driving erratically on the highway and eventually crashing his black Chevrolet Tahoe into a ditch. The events that followed led to police Tasering and pepper spraying Jones. He was arrested and housed in the Livingston County Jail that night.

    According to Livingston County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Carolyn Henry, Jones was intoxicated and confrontational with law enforcement and medical personnel after the crash — with a blood alcohol content of at least .17%, which is more than twice the legal limit in Michigan.

    Police also found a semi-automatic .40-caliber Glock handgun in the cupholder of Jones’ car.

    He is charged with four counts of resisting and obstructing a police officer, a felony that carries up to two years in prison, as well as driving while intoxicated, operating a motor vehicle with a high blood alcohol content, reckless driving and possession of a weapon while intoxicated.

    Jones allegedly resisted and obstructed two Michigan State Police troopers and a Fowlerville police officer, along with a paramedic who was attempting to provide medical attention to his unidentified passenger.

    Rep. Jones reportedly facing one felony, two misdemeanor charges after I-96 crash 

    On Friday, Magistrate Jerry Sherwood of Howell’s 53rd District Court released Jones on a $15,000 personal bond. Jones had been arraigned at the same court previously.

    Jones has a record of traffic offenses, but no previous criminal record. He is an auxiliary police officer for the Inkster Police Department and a member of the Michigan National Guard.

    House leadership is still determining what consequences Jones may face as a member of the Legislature while his case remains pending.

    “The details of this situation continue to be very disappointing for an elected community leader,” said Gideon D’Assandro, a spokesperson for House Speaker Jason Wentworth (R-Clare). “The speaker is speaking to [Minority] Leader [Donna] Lasinski (D-Scio Twp.) and working with her on how to handle the situation as it moves forward.”

    “These are serious charges. It’s important to let the investigation proceed and the legal process play out so all the facts can come to light,” Lasinski said in a statement.

    Laina G. Stebbins
    Laina G. Stebbins covers the environment, Native issues and criminal justice for the Advance. A lifelong Michigander, she is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, where she served as Founding Editor of The Tab Michigan State and as a reporter for the Capital News Service. When Laina is not writing or spending time with her cats, she loves art and design, listening to music, playing piano, enjoying good food and being out in nature (especially Up North).