Sheriff: St. Joseph Co. prosecutor arrested in drunken driving crash

Southwest Michigan

LOCKPORT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — St. Joseph County Prosecutor John McDonough was arrested Monday night, accused of operating while intoxicated and having open intoxicants in his vehicle, Sheriff Mark Lillywhite confirmed to News 8 Tuesday.

The crash happened just after 7 p.m. Monday on Lovers Lane near Tamarac Lane in Lockport Township, not far from Three Rivers.

Lillywhite says McDonough was involved in a single-vehicle crash. When deputies arrived, they found a dark-colored SUV parked on the north side of Lovers Lane facing east, according to a news release.

McDonough was the only person in the vehicle and nobody was hurt. There was damage to the SUV and property owners’ fence, authorities said.

A courtesy photo taken after a Lockport Township crash allegedly involving St. Joseph County Prosecutor John McDonough.
A courtesy photo taken after a Lockport Township crash allegedly involving St. Joseph County Prosecutor John McDonough.

Ashlee Alexander lives in the area and heard the SUV crash into the fence.

“It just sounded like screeching, like it was dragging, like he was dragging something,” Alexander said.

Her first concern was for her neighbors. She was relieved to find out no one was injured.

“They could have been in the backyard,” Alexander said. “One other turn he could have been in our yard.”

The homeowner who lost his fence in the crash says McDonough called police himself to report it.

News 8 reached out to McDonough for comment, but had not received a response as of late Tuesday afternoon.

St. Joseph County Prosecutor John McDonough. (2015 file)

McDonough, 40, was first elected prosecutor in St. Joseph County in 2008 and is up for reelection this fall.

“That is so scary to me to think that he does that for a living, puts people away, and is one to do that. You’d would think that would be the last person that would be involved in something like that,” Alexander said.

McDonough was taken to the Cass County Jail. In the event of a law enforcement official’s arrest, it’s not uncommon for them to be held in another jurisdiction’s jail. He is expected to be arraigned at 8:15 a.m. May 21 in 3B District Court in Centreville.

St. Joseph County Administrator Teresa Doehring told News 8 that the county will not have a comment on the matter before it is dealt with in the courts. She added that “as an elected official and a constitutional officer, it is a matter exclusively between the Prosecutor, Governor, Attorney General, State Bar and Courts.”

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