Jewell Jones, Michigan state rep, found with handcuff key inside jail: sheriff

Michigan state Rep. Jewell Jones faced additional felony charges Wednesday after he was allegedly found in possession of a handcuff key after he was arrested Tuesday due to his bond being revoked from a prior arrest. 

He was arraigned Wednesday on charges of attempting to escape custody while awaiting a felony trial and bringing a weapon into jail, according to The Detroit News. 

“This guy is a real piece of work, and an embarrassment to all elected officials, and I believe he thinks somehow the laws do not apply to him,” Livingston County Sheriff Michael Murphy said, FOX 2 of Detroit reported. “More than that, I am mad. Had the handcuff key ended in an injury to my staff or another inmate I am not sure what I would have done, as my primary responsibility is the safety and security of my staff and inmates.”

“This guy is a real piece of work, and an embarrassment to all elected officials, and I believe he thinks somehow the laws do not apply to him.”

— Sheriff Michael Murphy, Livingston County, Michigan

Jones, 26, was arrested for allegedly violating his bond for the third time related to a drunken-driving crash earlier this year. His blood-alcohol content at the time was more than twice the legal limit, police said. 

Jones’ alcohol tether on his ankle detected alcohol in his system three times on Sept. 3 – drinking is a violation of his bond – and he allegedly tampered with the tether on Sept. 6. 

He was elected to the state legislature in 2016. 


Jones pleaded not guilty Wednesday. His bond was set at $100,000 cash or surety, according to the News. 

Officers allegedly found the key taped to the bottom of Jones’ foot during intake at the Livingston County jail on Tuesday, FOX 2 reported. 

Jewell Jones (Michigan House Democrats official website)

Jones was also ordered to surrender any equipment he would use as a reserve police officer in his district. 

Jones’ lawyer said he was frustrated with the attempt-to-escape charge because once he was in a cell the key wouldn’t have helped him, the News reported.

Murphy said he wasn’t sure why Jones had the key on him. 

“You could run through unlimited possibilities. 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,” according to the News

Jones previously violated his bond by allegedly leaving Michigan National Guard training without letting the court or his lawyer know and for failing to pay the upkeep on his tether, which he was given after his first violation, FOX 2 reported. 

During his April arrest, Jones told officers that their actions are “not going to be good for you,” adding that he would “call Governor [Gretchen] Whitmer right now,” according to the police report.


Jones also referred to Whitmer as a “homie” when officers attempted to capture his intake photo without a face mask. “You know what? Big Gretch is the homie. When she finds out about this, she might be a little upset about the treatment,” Jones said. “She’s very serious about the pandemic so I’m just wondering if I can wear the mask.”

Fox News’ Kyle Morris contributed to this report.

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