Home News Deputy admits he didn’t arrest prosecutor because he feared retribution

Deputy admits he didn’t arrest prosecutor because he feared retribution

Prosecuting Attorney John Jones IV (Washington County Sheriff’s Office)

Dana Rieck
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Mo. — A sheriff’s deputy has applied for DWI charges against the prosecuting attorney here more than six months after the attorney crashed into a cross statue and police said they found an almost-empty bottle of liquor under his front seat.

In court documents, Cpl. Joshua Weseman said he didn’t apply for charges at the time because he was intimidated by John Jones IV’s position and influence as the county’s elected prosecuting attorney. He said he also feared retribution in future cases he worked on, and his supervisor’s advice was to report the incident as a basic crash.

Jones released a statement Thursday saying he would “welcome a professional and transparent investigation” from the Missouri Highway Patrol.

“I would also welcome an outside audit of sheriff’s office policies and procedures to ensure that future potentially sensitive investigations are processed in a manner that ensures public confidence in the results,” he wrote.

Jones, 37, called police on the evening of July 5 and said he had crashed into a cross statue at the Rural Parrish Workers of Christ, near Missouri Highway CC and Cannon Mines Road in the Cadet area of Washington County. He said he wasn’t injured and had already called a tow truck, but that he didn’t want to leave because of the property damage.

Cpl. Joshua Weseman arrived at the crash site, he wrote in a police report, and found Jones’ 2008 Chevrolet Suburban stuck in a ditch in front of the church.

Jones was sitting in the front seat with a contusion on his head, Weseman wrote. He told the corporal he did not need medical treatment.

The prosecuting attorney said he was talking on the phone with his wife when he turned onto Cannon Mines Road from State Highway CC and swerved to miss a deer in the road, Weseman said. He went off the road into a ditch, hit the cross statue, and got stuck in the church’s driveway.

When Wesemean showed up, he said, Jones dropped his wallet and “fumbled” while trying to pull out his ID and insurance information. The cop said he could smell alcohol on Jones, who had glassy, red eyes and was slurring his words slightly.

Weseman gave Jones a ride home while another deputy stayed at the scene with the towing company, he wrote. That deputy later told Weseman about the almost-empty bottle of Captain Morgan underneath the front seat.

“At the time of the incident I took the advice of my supervisor and reported the incident as an accident only,” Weseman wrote in a memo to Washington County Sheriff Zach Jacobsen. “… I realized I have compromised my integrity as a law enforcement officer by my actions … I failed to investigate further after observing several indicators which were common of a driver operating a vehicle while (intoxicated).”

On Jan. 29, Weseman asked prosecutors to charge Jones with one count of DWI.

Jacobsen did not immediately return a call for comment.


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