Attorney defending Michigan State Rep. Jewell Jones withdraws from case at pretrial hearing

Jones faces multiple felony charges in connection with April arrest

The attorney who was putting together the defense for Michigan State Rep. Jewell Jones departed the case Friday morning.
The attorney who was putting together the defense for Michigan State Rep. Jewell Jones departed the case Friday morning.

HOWELL, Mich. – The attorney who was putting together the defense for Michigan State Rep. Jewell Jones departed the case Friday morning.

Ali Hammoud said he can’t go on defending Jones, claiming there was a “breakdown in the relationship.”

“It is best if he seeks new council at this time,” Hammoud said.

Read: Michigan State Rep. Jewell Jones to undergo mental health evaluation; attorney withdraws from case

Jones was clad in an orange uniform and handcuffs in court Friday morning.

Livingston County sheriff said Jones was found with a handcuff key taped to his alcohol-patterned socks in jail Tuesday.

Elder Dr. Paul Turner Jr. -- a mentor of Jones -- said the representative isn’t a criminal, he’s in crisis.

“He is a volunteer police officer. He knows he can’t do anything with that key,” Turner said. “Something is wrong.”

Related: Speaker removes Michigan Rep. Jewell Jones from House committee assignments after ‘bizarre attempt to escape from jail’

Friday was the hearing on Jones’ DUI and resisting arrest charges from his widely publicized arrest on I-96 in April.

Attorney Byron Nolan, who is representing Jones, asked the court for Jones to undergo a mental health evaluation immediately.

“I want to know what’s going on,” Nolan said. “If it’s medical, get that treated, find out results.”

Former Michigan state Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo expressed concern for her former colleague.

“The signs I am seeing, this is not the Jones I know,” Gay-Dagnogo said.

Read back: ‘I don’t think he’s taking it seriously’ -- Michigan Rep. Jewell Jones stripped of House committee assignments


About the Authors:

Shawn Ley is an Emmy-Award winning reporter. In more than 20 years covering stories in television news, Shawn’s reporting has taken him from war-torn eastern Europe, to reporting from an F-16 fighter jet and now to the fast and furious breaking news of Detroit.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.