21-Year-Old Juror Jailed After Sleeping Through Alarm and Missing Trial
Deandre Somerville called his time in Palm Beach County jail "traumatic."
A 21-year-old Florida man who was assigned to be a juror on a trial said he was jailed for 10 days and given 150 hours of community service after he slept through his alarm and missed the start of the court session.
Deandre Somerville of West Palm Beach was picked to be a juror on Aug. 20, according to multiple reports. He was instructed to return the next morning for the trial.
However, he slept through his alarm and missed the beginning of the trial. He told NBC News that he searched online about what would happen if a juror missed court. After not finding "too much there," he said," he continued with his day and reported to his afternoon job with afterschool programs at the Parks and Recreation Department.
"I should have called," Somerville told NBC News, but he was nervous.
Police later showed up on the doorstep of Somerville's gradnparents, with whom he lives to take care of his grandfather, and issued a court summons.
In September, a circuit judge found Somerville in contempt of court.
According to court records, the judge said, "When a juror is selected and sworn, the administration of justice in this courthouse depends on you following the orders of the court." The judge added that Sommerville's absence delayed court by almost an hour.
The judge sentence Somerville to 10 days in jail, one year of probation, 150 hours of community service and a $223 fine to cover court costs. Somerville was also instructed to write a letter of apology to the court.
Somerville was taken into custody on Sept. 20 and he served his 10-day sentence, calling his time in Palm Beach County jail "traumatic," according to NBC News. He told NBC News that while he regrest his actions, he believes his jail sentence was "a little overdone" and that his probation sentence was unnecessary.
On Friday, he read his apology letter in court at a hearing on his case. There the judge reduced the rest of his sentence to three months of probation and 30 hours of community service.
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