COVID-19 was cited as the reason Braidwood’s mayor was not taken to jail Friday to serve his sentence for driving under the influence, and his case was continued to April for another hearing, prosecutors said.
Robert Jones, 59, was sentenced Sept. 4 to serve eight days in jail after he pleaded guilty to driving under the influence after he was involved in a three-vehicle crash Nov. 24, 2019.
Jones was not taken to jail after his sentencing. The court hearing to determine when he would serve time was pushed to Friday, when the case once again was continued to April 9.
“The defendant was not taken into jail, over the state’s objection, in light of COVID,” said Carole Cheney, spokeswoman for the Will County State’s Attorney’s office.
A call to Jones’ attorney, Eugene Fimbianti, was not immediately returned Monday.
On Dec. 2, the Will County Sheriff’s Office reported that 38 inmates at the jail had tested positive for COVID-19. The sheriff’s office has not publicly reported on the latest number of COVID-19 cases at the facility.
Jones was arrested after he was involved in a three-vehicle crash on Route 53 just north of Coal City, the Illinois State Police said.
Jones was driving a 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe and rear-ended a 2013 Chevrolet Cruz, which then rear-ended a 2003 Chevrolet sedan, police said.
The cars were heading south on Route 53 in the left lane, police said.
The driver of the Cruze that Jones rear-ended was treated at a Kankakee hospital for a concussion, according to police reports.
At the time of the crash, Jones, owner of Jones-Eez Bar-B-Que, had a 30-year-old employee and her 9-year-old daughter in his car, according to police reports and court records.
Jones previously pleaded guilty to DUI in 2008, court records show. He was sentenced to a year of court supervision and was ordered to undergo alcoholism treatment and pay $1,250 in fines.
Jones was elected mayor on April 2, 2019, defeating incumbent Mayor Jim Vehrs by 33 votes.