- Associated Press
Thursday, November 5, 2020

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) - A district attorney-elect in Georgia has been indicted on charges linked to a 2019 car crash and damage to a parking lot that allegedly happened while he was filming a campaign advertisement earlier this year, according to prosecutors.

Mark Jones, who is set to take office in January as Columbus’ district attorney, was charged Monday with interference with government property and first-degree criminal damage to property in connection with the damage to the city’s Civic Center parking lot, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reported.

Separately, he was also indicted on charges of serious injury by vehicle for allegedly injuring a woman while hitting her car in November 2019, as well as driving under the influence and reckless driving for failing to stop, officials said.

At the Civic Center, Jones and four other co-defendants were accused of causing an estimated $300,000 damage to the parking lot where participants in the campaign video allegedly performed car tricks and left tire marks, according to authorities.

Jones defeated incumbent District Attorney Julia Slater in a June Democratic primary and faced no Republican opposition in the general election on Tuesday, the Ledger-Enquirer reported. Slater has recused herself from any case involving Jones, and the Georgia Attorney General has appointed a special prosecutor instead.

Columbus attorney Christopher Breault, who is representing Jones, said he does not believe the indictment blocks Jones from taking office. Jones was not accused of any wrongdoing related to his role as district attorney, Breault argued.

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