HOWELL, Mich. (WXYZ) — State Representative Jewell Jones allegedly tried to bring a handcuff key into the Livingston County Jail where he was serving time for a bond violation. Now the question is, if he did this, why would he do this?
In court Friday his defense team asked that he undergo a mental health evaluation. Livingston County Judge Michael Hatty agreed and ordered a mental health evaluation be done.
It all began in April after he was pulled over for drunk driving and argued with law enforcement. He was arrested then released on bond.
Tuesday he appeared in court accused of violating bond for the third time. He pleaded guilty to drinking earlier this month and also tampering with his alcohol-sensing tether on Labor Day.
The judge revoked his bond Tuesday, but scheduled a hearing for Friday, insinuating he would potentially be released.
Then the Livingston County Sheriff accused Jones of trying to sneak a handcuff key into the jail leading to two felony charges accusing him of trying to escape custody.
“I believe there has been a breakdown in the attorney-client relationship,” said one of his two attorneys, Ali Hammoud, as he withdrew from the case.
People there to support Jones and constituents in Inkster say they are grateful to see a mental health evaluation happening.
“Please don’t throw this young man away. Please give him the benefit of the doubt that there is something extremely wrong going on right now,” said Dr. Paul Turner Jr., Pastor, and Founder of Choice Behavioral Health Management, who says he is a long-time friend of Jones.
“I come as a former colleague and as a mom,” said Sherry Gay-Dagnogo, a former State Representative and current Detroit School Board Member at court to support Jones. “And I am very grateful the judge granted the request for a mental health evaluation. I know this is not the Jewell that I met when he was sworn in.”
The House Speaker has removed Jones from his committee posts. While he remains a representative, he will not be able to vote on behalf of his constituents from jail.
“I am very patient. I want to wait and see what is going on with him. Hopefully, he will get the help he needs,” said Jackie Rouser, an Inkster resident, and constituent.
Rouser said she considers him innocent until proven guilty and would not necessarily want his resignation at this point.