MONTGOMERY COUNTY -- A Montgomery County woman goes to jail for not showing up for jury duty. Her attorney said she had a very good reason for not reporting to the courthouse.
The juror who went to jail is Margaret Young, 44. She’s a middle school teacher who did not report for jury duty because she was attending a very special ceremony in Houston.
One of her students was celebrating being cancer-free. Young has been tutoring the student after school for more than a year, and according to her attorney, informed the court she would be a no-show.
In the teacher's quiet neighborhood Tuesday night, police showed up to arrest Young just as she and her husband were sitting down to dinner.
“I saw all the cops there last night, but I think that's awful,” said neighbor Benita Farrell.
“I think it's sad that they would do something like that. They’re nice people. They don't bother nobody,” said neighbor Antoinette Tibbs.
Judge Kelly W. Case didn't accept the excuse, so he had Young arrested on a contempt charge. He refused to comment. He is new to the bench and the trial at hand was a sexual assault case.
“Roughly 150 people,” said Brennen Dunn, a defense attorney in the sexual assault case, commenting on how many potential jurors did show up. “That is a lot. It's a big case and it's been difficult to get a jury in this case.”
The judge set Margaret Young's bond at No Bond, meaning she could not bail out. She stayed in jail for about six hours until another judge reset her bond to allow her to get out on personal recognizance.
It is rare to hear about someone going to jail for missing jury duty.
“I think the judge is just being mean,” said her neighbor Tibbs.
Young's attorney said according to school district rules, she cannot return to the classroom until this legal matter is cleared up. Officials at Magnolia ISD would not comment citing the fact this is a “personnel matter.”