DALLAS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - Salon À la Mode owner Shelley Luther was sentenced to seven days in jail for criminal and civil contempt and a $7,000 fine today for defying Governor Greg Abbott's stay-at-home rules.
State District Judge Eric Moyé found Luther continued to operate her hair salon in violation of the governor's order and in violation of a restraining order from the court.
Judge Moyé decided she should pay $3500 plus $500 for every additional day the salon remains open until Friday.
Last week, Luther received a cease-and-desist letter from Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins ordering her to close the salon — and she publicly ripped it up. In defying the order, Luther has gained many supporters, among them the Open Texas movement.
Several of her supporters waited outside the courtroom and were visibly displeased by her arrest.
"If you would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge that your own actions were selfish, putting your own interest ahead of those in the community in which you live," Judge Moyé said, offering her a chance to avoid jail time. He said he would consider only giving her a fine, if she apologized, acknowledged she was wrong, and agreed to keep her business closed until Friday, when the governor has announced all salons may open.
"I have much respect for this court and laws. I have never been in this position before and it's not someplace that I want to be," Luther responded. "But I have to disagree with you sir, when you say that I'm selfish because feeding my kids -- is not selfish. I have hair stylists 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, then please go ahead with you decision but I am not going to shut the salon."
Luther's attorney, Warren Norred, vowed to appeal the decision. He said the salon would likely continue to open its doors, increasing the $3,500 fine against it by $500 each day it does before the governor's new order takes effect Friday.
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