A Grand Jury in Muscogee County has returned multiple felony indictments against Democrat District Attorney-elect Mark Jones.
The Grand Jury indictments against the District Attorney-elect stem from two incidents. The first was a November 11, 2019 DUI which resulted in a woman getting injured, for which he is facing a felony DUI charge.
The second is a felony property damage charge stemming from a campaign video shot in the Civic Center parking lot a few weeks before the Democratic primary.
Muscogee County Prosecutors recused themselves from the cases against Jones. Instead, the cases were handled by the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia. Donald P. Geary of Lawrenceville was appointed as the special prosecutor, according to the indictment.
DA Jones’ criminal attorney, Christopher Breault, called this an election-day surprise.
“We were informed back in late September that Republican Attorney General Chris Carr was going to attempt an ‘election surprise’ against Democratic DA-Elect Mark Jones after Jones was quoted in USA Today on September 5 saying he would prosecute the Columbus police officers who kneeled on and slowly suffocated Columbus resident Hector Arreola.
So, it’s not surprising that the Attorney General has worked in the dark with Julia Slater to mislead a group of unsuspecting citizens—the grand jury—into indicting DA-Elect Mark Jones. With DA-Elect Jones under indictment, the Republican leadership in Atlanta can keep him under their thumb and stop him from holding rogue police officers accountable for their actions,” Breault said in a statement to News 3.
Jones can only be removed from office if he is convicted of a felony.
Slater said neither she nor her office were involved in the arrest or indictment.
The DUI case is pending and involved an accident with injuries. According to information obtained under Georgia’s Open Records Act, this was Jones’ second DUI charge since 2015. His first arrest and DUI charge was on September 12, 2015, when he refused to take three sobriety tests which were requested by law enforcement.
He pleaded guilty April 8, 2016 to the DUI charge. Other charges connected with the case, speeding and failure to yield, were dismissed.
The second Grand Jury indictment involves a campaign rap video Jones had filmed, aimed at getting out the vote in the election against Slater.
In the video, cars were doing donuts in the Civic Center parking lot. For that incident, Columbus police arrested Jones and charged him and four others with criminal property damage.
Jones’ arrest was shown on a Facebook live post, which went viral days before the election. The District Attorney-elect spent more than 24 hours in jail, then did a large campaign rally hours after being released on bond.