New DA-elect Mark Jones speaks on plans for office

Updated: Jun. 15, 2020 at 6:29 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Less than a week after winning the district attorney seat for the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit, Mark Jones is making plans for how he will run the office next year.

Monday, he addressed concerns from local law enforcement.

Jones understands there are good and bad law enforcement officers in the community. But he said situations like what happened in Minneapolis and Atlanta need to stop happening.

Jones will swear his oath in January 2021 and he plans on making big changes.

“We are going to put the judges to work," Jones said. “There’s seven of them. They need to be trying a murder case every week.”

With approximately 80 alleged murderers in the Muscogee County Jail, Jones wants to close all of their cases within one year. Working alongside local law enforcement to prosecute the suspects, Jones said it’s important to know the good officers from the corrupt ones.

“You can trust some of these officers. Now, some of them you can’t trust as we’ve learned from current events," he said.

Jones said the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Rayshard Brooks are unacceptable. He said he will prosecute any law enforcement officer who takes it too far.

“As the district attorney, that’s my job, to hold everyone accountable and treat them equally under the law. Let justice be done. What is it the Supreme Court says in Latin, let justice be done though the heavens fall.”

Locally, that includes the case of former Columbus Police Sergeant William Talley who is awaiting trial for the 2019 murder of Kelly Levinsohn.

“I’m not recusing on Talley," Jones said. “I don’t know the guy, but I’m going to know his file for sure when we go to court. My goal is to recuse less. I think more should be handled internally. I’m going to keep as much as I can in house so we don’t have issues with lingering on for years, and years, and years, and stuff.”

Jones said it will take time to build relationships with local law enforcement, however he wants everyone to know he has an open door policy and you can message him with any of your concerns.

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