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Dallas hair salon owner gets jail time for reopening store

Video credit: Reuters Studio
Published on May 6, 2020 - Duration: 02:51s

Dallas hair salon owner gets jail time for reopening store

Dallas salon owner Shelley Luther was sentenced to a week in jail and a $7000 dollar fine on Tuesday after she was found in contempt of court for defying the state's stay-at-home orders and keeping her business open.

Colette Luke has more.

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Dallas hair salon owner gets jail time for reopening store

“I am not closing the store, if they arrest me, I have someone who will keep the store open, because it’s our right to keep the store open.” That’s Dallas Salon owner Shelley Luther last week and this is her on Tuesday.

Luther was sentenced to a week in jail and a $7000 dollar fine after she was found in contempt of court for defying Texas Governor’s stay-at-home orders and keeping her business open.

She also tore up a cease-and-desist letter on April 25th at the Open Texas Movement protest and a few days later received a temporary restraining order after she continued to operate her business.

Dallas Judge Eric Moye on Tuesday said Luther’s actions were wrong: “Your own actions were selfish, putting your own interest ahead of those in the community in which you live,” He said he would let her avoid jail time and only give her a fine if she apologized, admit she was wrong and agree to keep her business closed until Friday when salons are allowed to reopen in the state.

But Luther refused: “I have to disagree with you, sir, when you say that I'm selfish, because feeding my kids is not selfish.

I have hairstylists that are going hungry because they'd rather feed their kids.

So, sir, if you think the law is more important than kids getting fed, than please go ahead with your decision, but I am not going to shut the salon." On Wednesday, Texas governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, said he and the Texas attorney general sided with Luther, calling for her immediate release, and adding that the judge in the case went too far in applying the law.

On March 19th, Abbott issued a stay at home order to help slow the spread of the virus.

Luther closed her salon on March 22nd, but reopened it on April 24th.

On Tuesday Governor Abbott said hair salons, barber shops and nail parlors could reopen starting this Friday after restaurants and shopping malls resumed business on a limited basis last Friday.

But businesses would have to follow specific rules, Abbott said, like reducing seating capacity to 25 percent and requiring people to practice social distancing where possible, and barbers and salon workers must wear masks and gloves.

As for Luther, she will be fined $500 dollars each day her salon stays open until Friday.

Her lawyer reportedly said he planned to appeal the ruling immediately, but added it would be tragic if she contracted the virus while in jail.

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