Michigan Rep. Jewell Jones pleads guilty to violating probation by drinking alcohol

Jones sentenced to 30 days in jail or treatment program

Michigan Rep. Jewell Jones, who was sentenced to two years of probation after a drunken driving arrest, pleaded guilty Thursday to violating that probation by drinking alcohol.

HOWELL, Mich.Michigan Rep. Jewell Jones, who was sentenced to two years of probation after a drunken driving arrest, pleaded guilty Thursday to violating that probation by drinking alcohol.

Jones, 27, of Inkster, did not receive jail time when he pleaded guilty to two felonies and a list of misdemeanors. Livingston County Judge Michael Hatty said he believed Jones was on the right track and didn’t need to be incarcerated.

On Thursday (June 30), Jones was back in front of Hatty for the probation violation. You can watch the full proceedings in the video above.

“Mr. Jones failed to refrain from use of alcohol, and tested positive during an ETG at JAMS testing facility on June 1, 2022,” Hatty said.

For the violation, Jones could have had his probation continued, modified, or extended. He also could have served up to two years in prison, according to the judge.

When asked for his plea, Jones said, “Guilty, Your Honor.”

“You did consume alcohol on or about June 1, 2022, that was in violation of your probation, and you violated probation based on that consumption of alcohol and the positive test, is that correct?” Hatty asked.

“Yes, Your Honor,” Jones said.

Jones’ attorney, Byron Nolen, said the violation stemmed from the death of his client’s grandmother.

“All I would say, as a way of explanation, not excuse, that he had lost his grandmother earlier that morning and that caused him to get depressed and make a bad decision, and then he went and got tested on June 1,” Nolen said. “Obviously, as soon as we found out the positive results, he checked himself into the ShareHouse for a 29-day program.”

That program is scheduled to run through July 6.

“He made a bad decision, took responsibility for it, and tried to get treatment himself,” Nolen said.

Jones apologized and ensured Hatty that he’s made progress since June 1.

“Your Honor, I just apologize,” Jones said. “I did make a really poor decision, and I do appreciate ShareHouse. When I got there, we definitely uncovered a few things that, like Mr. Nolen said, it was an explanation, but not much of an excuse, the reason why I did take a drink. I do appreciate the treatment I’ve been in. I’ve had a great time, learned a lot, not only about the program, but also about myself. I’m looking to put this behind me and move forward.”

Prosecutors pointed out that Jones had three bond violations during the course of this case, including one involving alcohol. They did not ask for him to serve jail time, however.

“You’re making things harder than what they need to be,” Hatty said to Jones. “All you had to do was do what you’re supposed to do in the beginning, follow the rules, and you wouldn’t be here today.”

As incentive for Jones to continue receiving treatment, Hatty sentenced him to 30 days in jail, but allowed that time to be served at ShareHouse. He’s also receiving credit for the days he’s already spent at ShareHouse.

“In the event you leave there, you march yourself right over to the Livingston County Jail,” Hatty said.

“You’ve got a lot of gifts, and you’ve got to use them. Alcohol just puts a roadblock in the way.”

Jones was instructed to write an essay about what he’s learning at ShareHouse and what that means for him going forward.

He also has to send apology letters to the two Michigan State Police troopers who were there during his drunken driving arrest. Those letters must be sent within a week, Hatty said.

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Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.