Macomb Politics, February 20, 2015
Darwin Jiles, Jr., has emerged as a controversial character within the Michigan Republican Party since he declared his candidacy for one of the vice chairman positions up for grabs at this weekend’s state convention.
The internal debate was sparked by revelations that Jiles, 29, is on probation after pleading guilty last year to a misdemeanor charge for shooting an acquaintance in his Auburn Hills trailer park. But that black mark on his record is nearly trivial compared to the violent gun crime he committed when he was a 15-year-old living in Flint, according to court records.
Genesee County Circuit Court records show that in 2001 Jiles was charged with two counts of assault with intent to murder, one charge of illegally carrying a concealed weapon, and one charge of using a firearm during the commission of a felony.
Facing that barrage of felonies, the records indicate that Jiles arranged a plea bargain and pleaded no contest to a lesser charge of assault with intent to do great bodily harm, plus the felony firearms charge.
Fourteen years later, he is hoping to win election at the Republican’s Lansing convention to the vice chair position representing the ethnic/minority block of the state GOP.
As he looks forward to a career in politics, Jiles went on a charm offensive after he was charged in the 2014 Auburn Hills shooting, insisting that the incident was an accident, not a crime. But apparently everyone wooed by his PR campaign forgot to ask Jiles if he had ever been convicted previously of criminal activity.
Known in Flint as a community activist, Jiles has said that he moved to Auburn Hills to get away from the crime-plagued streets of his hometown.