Mental evaluation ordered for Rep. Jones
Jones was sentenced to jail after he was accused of violating his bond a third time.
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - A Livingston County judge has ordered Michigan State Rep. Jewell Jones (D-Inkster) to undergo a mental health evaluation as he faces multiple charges stemming from an alleged drunk driving arrest in April.
Yesterday, Jones was removed from all Michigan House committee assignments after the Livingston County Sheriff said he brought a handcuff key taped to his foot upon being admitted to the county jail. Jones was sentenced to jail after he was accused of violating his bond a third time. He is now facing two felonies accusing him of trying to escape custody.
Jones was facing drunk driving criminal charges following his arrest on I-96 that occurred in April. At the time, authorities said Jones had been drinking alcohol and manipulated his tether while on bond, which was later revoked.
An attorney for Jones, Ali Hammoud, withdrew from the case in court Friday morning referring to a “breakdown in the attorney-client relationship.”
“Mr. Jones is well aware,” said Hammoud. “I think he accepts that.”
Attorney Byron Nolan is remaining on the 26-year-old’s legal team and requested a mental evaluation for Jones, which was granted by Judge Michael Hatty.
“That will give us a better idea of what’s going on as we move forward,” said Hatty during a hearing at 44th Circuit Court in Howell.
Jones’ mental state was brought into question in recent months, leading Speaker of the House Jason Wentworth to remove him from committee assignments.
“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,” Wentworth said in a statement. “That behavior hit a new low yesterday when he appears to have made a bizarre attempt to escape from jail, potentially resulting in two new charges. Action must be taken to protect the public’s interest. I am now removing Rep. Jones from all House committees and encouraging him to use that time to make changes and take control of his actions.”
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