Sheriff: Michigan lawmaker in jail had hidden handcuff key

AP Strange

FILE — In this file photo released by the Michigan State Police, Rep. Jewell Jones, D-Inkster, is shown. Jones is accused of taping a handcuff key to his foot that discovered when he was placed in jail Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021 for violating bond conditions, authorities said. The Detroit-area state lawmaker was charged with drunken driving, resisting police officers and other crimes stemming from an April 6, 2021 crash along Interstate 96 in Livingston County, (Michigan State Police via AP, file)

HOWELL, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan lawmaker ordered to jail in a drunken driving caseis accused of taping a handcuff key to his foot.

The key was discovered when state Rep. Jewell Jones, a Detroit-area Democrat, was placed in jail Tuesday for violating bond 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. “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.

“Allegations in this matter allege the defendant taping a handcuff key to the bottom of his foot with clear tape and was found by Livingston County corrections officers upon his incarceration,” assistant prosecutor Carolyn Henry said in a court filing.

Defense attorney Byron Nolan said Jewell “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 told the Livingston Daily Press & Argus.

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.

Separately, Jones was removed from his House committee assignments Thursday. House Speaker Jason Wentworth, a Republican, said the latest allegations were a “new low.”

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