Michigan State Rep Found With Handcuffs Key After Arrest For Violating His Bond

Michigan House Democrats

Michigan state Rep. Jewell Jones is facing an array of criminal charges, including two new serious felonies after he was found in possession of a handcuff key after he was arrested. There is little basis for much sympathy for Jones who has shown little regard for the criminal code in his past conduct. However, I have a serious concern over the new charges brought down after the key discovery.

Jones, 26, was arrested for allegedly violating his bond for the third time after driving into a ditch. A blood test found his BAC was more than twice the legal limit.  He was already fitted with an ankle tether that registered alcohol in his system in violation of this bond on three separate occasions.

Police officers said that Jones name dropped Gov. Gretchen Whitmer when they attempted to capture his intake photo without a face mask: “You know what? Big Gretch is the homie.”

After his arrest, Jones changed into prison garb but, as he walked away, guards heard a clinking and found a key on the bottom of his foot.

He was just arraigned this week on two new charges: attempting to escape custody while awaiting a felony trial and bringing a weapon into jail.

Notably, before this incident, Jones was facing charges for resisting arrest, operating a motor vehicle with high blood alcohol content, operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, possession of a weapon under the influence of alcohol and reckless driving. Those charges could bring a couple years in prison. The new charges could easily double that sentence. The weapons charge is a four-year felony while the escape attempt is punishable by up to five years in prison.

One can debate the first charge since a handcuff key would not unlock a prison door and might not work on prison shackles.  However, the prosecutors essentially are arguing that, while it may not be a smart attempt, it was clearly an attempt to escape from handcuffs and, by extension, custody.

Even if this first charge is valid, the second charge is deeply concerning. There is no indication of a firearm being introduced in prison and officials are quoted in articles as saying that the key could have been used to harm guards.  It is not clear if that is the theory for the second charge. If so, it should be rejected as too attenuated to support a charge.

Since he was already charged for the handgun found in his car after the accident, this is a new charge and a different “weapon.”  The charge is described as “bringing any item that may be used to injure an individual or assist in escape.” The attempted escape charge is challenging enough, but the key itself should not be the basis for a weapons charge in my view. It is not only redundant with the other charge but it would make any items that could be used to escape into a potential weapon.

 

10 thoughts on “Michigan State Rep Found With Handcuffs Key After Arrest For Violating His Bond”

  1. The guards or law enforcement may assert the weapon violation, but isn’t the DA the one that files charges? Given the information we’ve been provided here, that seems to be an overreach. Were his restraints long enough to be used as a weapon once he escaped from them?

  2. A key. Was he going to unlock his handcuffs? He would have to hold the key in his teeth. Neither hand could circle round to the lock.

  3. Another example of overcharging by police and prosecutors.

    While effective at forcing a plea bargain, it is not justice (or right).

    Prosecutors need to drop this win at all costs mentality. While police bear the brunt of the BLM anger, thinking people recognize that prosecutors abuse the system in different ways.

  4. Don’t completely discount what, police choose to considered a weapon just because you don’t think it’s an effective weapon.

    You have the power structure backwards. Police should not be choosing, the people are innocent until proven guilty. assigning worst case intentions is standard police state procedures. This guy is obviously an alcoholic. He will find recovery, or die….soon. i, in no way advocate leniency for this man. He is a danger to society and must pay for his crimes. That does not mean the government is allowed to strip him of his rights and protections of the Constitution.

  5. Obviously he has no regard for the law and considers his race and position as making him above it. Not really sure what to make of, “You know what? Big Gretch is the homie.” Does “Big Gretch” have a special relationship with black lawless lawmakers?

    Folks, we could discuss many aspects of the Constitution, but it all comes down to this. John Adams, observed, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

  6. Counterpoint; at one point in time box cutters were not considered to be a “weapon” until they were used by criminal terrorists to kill/injure others.

    Don’t completely discount what police choose to considered a weapon just because you don’t think it’s an effective weapon.

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