Ellis County Constable, wife indicted by grand jury for retaliating against a potential witness
WAXAHACHIE — Melva Jones, wife of Ellis County Pct. 4 Constable Mike Jones, was arrested at the Courts and Administration building by sheriff’s deputies Thursday morning on an after-indictment warrant. She was arrested following a pre-trial hearing in the constable’s case at about 9:45 a.m.
An Ellis County Grand Jury indicted Jones Wednesday on the charge of retaliation.
According to the indictment, on Aug. 15, Melva allegedly threatened to harm the victim by the improper use of information. This act was alleged to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment or embarrass the victim in retaliation due to her status as a prospective witness.
The actions alleged in the indictment are connected to the pending criminal charges against Mike Jones. Mike was indicted by the grand jury on Wednesday, Aug. 23 on two charges of misuse of official information, one charge of retaliation and one charge of deadly conduct. The first three charges are third-degree felonies, and the fourth is a Class A misdemeanor.
“She has been charged with the same thing that her husband, the constable, has been charged with — retaliation,” Ellis County and District Attorney Patrick Wilson said. “The retaliation charge that she had been indicted for is related to the same retaliation charge that the constable has been previously indicted for.”
Dan Gus, who is a civil attorney assisting the Jones family, stated that there is no foundation to support these charges against Melva or Mike.
“What I can say is that we know that there is no basis for criminal charges against Melva. Just as there were no really criminal charges against Mike. This is the fourth arrest that this family has endured and the seventh indictment,” Gus said. “It all has its origins in the fact that Mike is a political adversary of the district attorney. It is a shame to see the powers of that office are being used to settle some political scores.”
Ellis County District Attorney’s Office Chief Investigator Jeff Ward explained in court documents from Mike's civil case to remove him from the office that the current criminal investigation began in April. This is when a witness came forward with a new complaint and additional evidence to support the charge of abuse of official capacity.
Ward adds that the witness gave a statement to the county and district attorneys office that further implicated Jones for abuse of office. Following the written statement, Mike began to harass and intimidate her.
“Because of this statement, the defendant conspired with his wife, Melva Jones, and deputy constable, Kenneth Singleton, to create, maintain and enhance a hostile work environment directed towards (the witness),” Ward explained. “These actions were intentionally or knowingly undertaken against (the witness) by the defendant, by the defendant’s wife and by the deputy constable in retaliation for, on account of her service or status as a witness to prevent or delay (her) from serving as a witness against the defendant.”
Ward noted in the petition for removal that the witness quit her job as a clerk with the Justice of the Peace Pct. 4 Court. She took a position as the court clerk with another municipality, but the harassment continued.
Earlier in the year, Mike was indicted by an Ellis County Grand Jury on Feb. 8 for tampering with physical evidence, which is also a third-degree felony. The indictment came after he was alleged to have remotely purged his iCloud associated with a county-issued iPhone and two computers after the Ellis County and District Attorney’s Office confiscated the devices as part of an investigation.
Before that, Mike was indicted for allegedly abusing his official capacity on May 11, 2016. This charge stemmed from his alleged misuse of government property for his personal for-profit business and during his re-election campaign. According to previously obtained court documents, the property included an Ellis County issued smartphone, computer, email service, and vehicle, along with the services of county employees.
These charges, as well as a civil case to remove Mike from his position as constable, is still pending at this time as well. According to online records from the Wayne McCollum Detention Center as of noon on Friday Melva is no longer listed as an inmate.