JACKSBORO, TN. (WLAF)- Not appearing for jury duty caused a Campbell County woman to be arrested and appear in criminal court.
Earlier this year, a criminal trial had to be postponed because a jury couldn’t be seated. Despite having enough jurors selected for the jury pool, on the day of the trial not enough appeared to seat a jury.
Those who failed to appear were summoned by Eighth Judicial District Criminal Court Judge Zach Walden to explain themselves.
All but one appeared before Walden.
Ashley Wallen didn’t come to court that day either.
This prompted Walden to issue a warrant for her arrest.
Yesterday, Wallen appeared in court to explain her absence.
She contended her failure to appear was due to a lack of childcare.
“I know that’s not an excuse,” Wallen said noting she had called the court to clarify why she wouldn’t be there.
Explaining she was facing a contempt charge along with a $50 fine, Walden appointed Steve Hurst to represent Wallen.
After a quick conference, Hurst said his new client didn’t appear, because she was confused about the summons, which had gone out to all of the no show jurors.
Wallen had other matters before the court and assumed the summons was related to those.
“This (jurors not reporting for service) is a frequent problem here,” Walden said.
The judge dismissed the charge saying the arrest and subsequent jail booking were “punishment enough.”
“If you are ever summoned again, I suggest you show up,” Walden said.
(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 8/22/2023- 6AM)