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Heaven help me: Loud praying, plus some cursing, get Tenn. woman arrested

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(CBS/AP) BRISTOL, Tenn. - A Tennessee woman acknowledges she was praising the Lord rather enthusiastically when she was given a citation accusing her of violating the city of Bristol's noise ordinance.  Then later she was arrested by police on a disorderly conduct charge.

For God's sake.

Fifty-four-year-old Betty Jones tells WCYB-TV that her routine every Sunday includes five hours of praying and dancing, while she listens to music by Johnny Cash, Randy Travis, Alan Jackson and The Judds. (That's legal)

But neighbors in Bristol complained about loud music, so police showed up on May 27, a Sunday. A police report says officers helped her lower the base setting on her stereo and gave her a warning. But officers say they came back less than two hours later after being called again.

This time they cited Jones under the city's noise ordinance, but Jones tells the station she gave the officers a message, too.

"Randy Travis was singing `I'm going home to pray to God tonight and hopefully he'll forgive my sins.' I looked at that officer and said `you better go home tonight and pray for your sins because that's what Randy is telling you," she said. "That's the gospel truth. Randy Travis told that man to go home and pray."

After more neighborhood complaints, officers went back May 28 and arrested Jones, who concedes that she was "going off and cussing." Still, she says she should have the right to praise God in her own home.

She spent one night in jail after her disorderly conduct arrest.

  • Barry Leibowitz

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