Jewell Jones to be sentenced, a banner year for Great Lakes shipwreck hunters, a suspicious infant death

State lawmaker Jewell Jones is scheduled to be sentenced after pleading guilty to drunken driving charges and resisting arrest, almost a year after the incident occurred on I-96 in Livingston County.

The Inkster lawmaker will appear in court around 8:30 a.m. He'll likely receive probation and isn't expected to resign. 

Additionally, Jones will have the opportunity to reduce his felony charges to dismissals if he completes a youth sentencing program, the plea agreement said.

It's the conclusion to almost a year's worth of court cases, bond violations, and additional charges that began in early April 2021.

"I resisted arrest on April 6, 2021, I drove a vehicle and possessed a firearm when my blood alcohol content was more than 0.08. I drove a vehicle recklessly on I-96 on April 6, 2021," Jones admitted.

At one point during his initial arrest, he told police he'd call "Gretchen" on them, referring to the Michigan governor. He was tased and pepper-sprayed by officers during the confrontation. 

Jones first violated his bond in June when he posted a photo of being somewhere he was not allowed to be as part of his release. He violated it a second time when he failed to pay for his tether. He was then taken into custody a third time after his tether showed he had alcohol in his system at three different times in September. 

Around the same time, Jones tried bringing a handcuff key into jail by taping it to his foot. The prosecutor authorized additional felony charges after the discovery of the key.

After initially rejecting the plea deal in December and readying up for the case to go to trial, Jones plead guilty on Feb. 16.

"I think that for a long time I was so focused on proving my innocence or trying to fight the system, but at some point in time you just need to craft some winning strategies with different people and figure out we can all come together. I mean this is the system we all agree to live under - you know?" Jones said at the time. "I do have to make peace with some of the mistakes i did make so that's what today is. It's a start."

Jones pleaded guilty to resisting and obstructing police, operating a vehicle while intoxicated, possessing a weapon while intoxicated, reckless driving, and escape of lawful custody. 

Women in Fox Theatre brawl say it was self-defense

A video of the recent brawl at the Fox Theater – has officially gone viral. Two of the women involved want to set the record straight to tell their side of what happened. "It’s the narrative for me because the narrative is completely wrong," said Jasmine Flemmings.  

Flemmings can be spotted in the video swinging at a fellow concert-goer. She says that was self-defense. "That was the complete end of the fight," she said. "That was at the end after I was attacked." The fight stemmed from an interaction between Flemmings, her friends, and a man and his sister who had to move because they were in their seats. 

The concert started, but then the woman came back. "And I get pulled by my hair from the back, and I’m punched in the face," Flemmings said. Her friend, Bianca Garland says she hit the man to protect her friend. 

It ended with a broken nose – for one of the friends and minor injuries for these two. Detroit police took statements but no arrests were made. Officers say it’s an open investigation.  

State police investigating suspicious death of infant

Michigan State Police are investigating the death of a 2-month-old baby who passed away after being rushed to the hospital.

Troopers were dispatched to the Baymont Inn on Eight Mile Road in Royal Oak Township Wednesday morning on a medical run of the infant not breathing. They began CPR with Alliance EMS en route.

MSP then escorted the ambulance to Providence Southfield where the 2-month-old was declared dead on arrival.

"The cause of death has not been determined," tweeted the MSP Metro Detroit account. "Detectives from the Special Investigation Section are working with troopers to determine if foul play is involved in this incident. Investigation is continuing."

A banner year for Great Lakes shipwreck hunters

Great Lakes shipwreck hunters had a banner year in 2021. Crews with the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society might fine one or two wrecks in Lake Superior during a given year. But last summer, the lead searcher Darryl Hertel discovered 10, possibly 11 shipwrecks. 

"Last year was very unusual," said Corey Adkins, the communications and content director for the museum said. "He (Ertel) was on fire. Like, literally on fire," Adkins said. "Usually the range (of wrecks found) is none to one. Last year was special."

Searching for shipwrecks requires a lot of luck, some skill, and a lot of patience. The vessel that crews use will drag a sonar tool back and forth across the lake for hours a day. What made 2021 different was they towed the technology at a faster speed than what's recommended. 

And off the coastline of the Upper Peninsula between Whitefish Point and Grand Marais, plenty of wrecks remain to be found. 

State Democrats face opposition from new round of voting bills

State Democrats are introducing new legislation they say will make it easier and safer for people to cast their ballots at the polls. But Republicans are accusing the Democrats of hiding their true intentions.

"The whole impetus behind this package of bills is to try to make sure that we are empowering people to access the ballot box and exercise their constitutional right to vote," said State Rep. Laurie Pohutsky (D). Michigan Democrats are looking to beef up access to the polls. They introduced a package of nine bills that would among other things:

  • Require nine days of early in-person voting;
  • Require clerks to alert voters if there are any issues with their signatures on absentee ballots and applications.
  • Ban guns from polling locations.

"Nobody’s saying we’re going to restrict your ability to own a gun," said State Rep. Matthew Koleszar (D). "We’re simply saying no firearms in a polling place because what we’ve seen oftentimes, this isn’t about personal safety when you’re in a polling place - it’s about intimidation."

What else we're watching

  1. Michigan State troopers made a daring rescue of a 30-year-old man that fell through the ice in Groveland Township late Wednesday night. One officer also fell through while a second managed to stay above water until they reached the man. He is expected to make a full recovery.
  2. Sterling Heights police say a 21-year-old woman from Ohio died in a crash on M-53 near the Clinton River overpass. At the scene, cops found a Nissan, driven by the deceased, and a BMW driven by a 45-year-old man. Reports indicate the BMW lost control and struck the Nissan. Alcohol does not appear to be a factor. 
  3. AAA is reactivating its Tow and Go program for the St. Patrick's Day holiday. From 6 p.m. Thursday until 6 a.m. Monday, as a last resort, drivers can call AAA to get a tow truck to transport the would-be impaired driver and their vehicle to a safe location within a 10-mile radius. The number to call is (855) 2-TOW-2-GO.
  4. The trial of four men charged with planning to kidnap Whitmer is expected to resume after a three-day pause because of a positive COVID-19 case. The four men face charges of conspiracy to kidnap the governor. 
  5. The city of Detroit is planning to invest $45 million in its recreational centers, the largest such investment in decades to improve many of the outdated facilities. Details on the improvements will be announced at 11 a.m.

Live on FOX 2

Daily Forecast

It's going to be another beautiful day of weather, with the sun out for most of it as temperatures climb into the high 60s. The warmest day of the year won't last forever as rain comes overnight and temperatures fall during the weekend.

Netflix to launch test that requires subscribers to pay for users outside household

Netflix will soon launch a test that would prompt subscribers to pay an additional fee to allow users outside their households to use the account.

According to the subscription streaming service's current "Terms of Use" agreement, any content accessed through its service for personal use "may not be shared with individuals beyond your household" — a condition that Netflix has looked over or dismissed for years.

Now the company says it will launch and test a new feature for its members in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru, which will require members to add "sub accounts" for up to two people they don’t live with at a cost of 2,380 CLP in Chile, 2.99 USD in Costa Rica and 7.9 PEN in Peru.

No announcement has been made whether the features will eventually be tested in the United States.