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Idaho Woman's Yard Sale Could Really Cost Her

Christa Thompson faces 6 months in jail for violating governor's stay-at-home order
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2020 8:44 AM CDT

(Newser) – An Idaho mom of six has been hit with a misdemeanor charge that carries up to 6 months behind bars and a $1,000 fine after police say she held a weeklong yard sale amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Per Fox News, a Facebook post by Rathdrum Police Chief Tomi McLean lays out the timeline of what allegedly happened at Christa and Peter Thompson's home. Cops say they showed up during a yard sale on April 9 and "admonished" the homeowner, whom they provided with a copy of Gov. Brad Little's stay-at-home order. The family was confronted again on the 10th and said they would take down all signage, the post notes. Three days later, an ad for the yard sale on Craigslist spurred a written warning. Cops say the sale was still happening on April 17 "and sales transactions were occurring while police were present." The citation was then issued.

"This was a large non-essential yard sale that filled the entire front yard and spilled into the back yard as well," McLean wrote on Facebook. "These yard sale items could be seen from Highway 41." Christa Thompson, however, tells the Coeur d'Alene Press she called the police before she held the yard sale, explaining that her husband's father had died, leaving his belongings in storage that they couldn't keep paying for. She says the police told her they could sell the items, as long as they made sure people adhered to social distancing—and she says the sale is still going on. The Press observed people browsing in her front yard on Monday. Christa Thompson is due in court on May 8, and her husband tells the libertarian Idaho Freedom Foundation that they plan on fighting the citation. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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