A League City woman has been found in contempt of court and fined $100 because she got a toothache during a trial on which she was a juror, the Galveston County Daily News reports.
It wasn't so much she got the toothache and needed surgery; it was more that she told some people (including a reporter) about it.
Sandra Harvey was selected as a juror in a stalking case, but then came down with tooth trouble. Her dentist called the court to say she might need a root canal, but she was told to come in anyway.
According to the News, at various times Harvey felt "miserable," and was "walking unsteady and nearly in tears."
Attorneys for both sides couldn't agree to use the alternate, so she stayed on.
And apparently was pissed about it. She wrote an e-mail to the News "describing her painful ordeal," as the paper put it, and that didn't make ZDistrict Judge Susan Criss too happy.
She said Harvery had violated the rule about talking of any aspect of the case to any outsider while serving, and found her in contempt.
"I have an obligation to see all laws are followed in this case (so) each side does have a fair trial," Criss toldthe paper.. "I have to do everything I can to make sure the case is tried once and to preserve the jury verdict. I'm willing to be the bad guy if I have to do that."
After that, the attorneys agreed to use the alternate.
"You couldn't have done this yesterday, could you?" an apparently exasperated Criss told them.
-- Richard Connelly
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