'I'm a Little Overwhelmed': Salon Owner Freed From Jail

Shelley Luther of Dallas refused to close her business
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2020 1:02 PM CDT
Updated May 7, 2020 4:09 PM CDT
Texas Supreme Court Orders Salon Owner Freed
Salon owner Shelley Luther gets emotional as she speaks to supporters and the media after she was released from jail in Dallas, Thursday, May 7, 2020. Luther was jailed for refusing to keep her business closed amid concerns of the spread of COVID-19.   (AP Photo/LM Otero)

(Newser) – Dallas salon owner Shelley Luther, who refused to close her business in defiance of state orders, won't be serving a week in jail after all. Luther walked free on Thursday after the state Supreme Court ordered her release, reports the Dallas Morning News. Luther spent two days in jail. Before the court ruling, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweaked the wording of his own previously issued directive to remove the prospect of jail time for offenders. And Luther received more good news on Thursday: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said he would pay her $7,000 fine, per CBS DFW.

“I’m a little overwhelmed," Luther told supporters upon her release. "I just want to thank all of you who I just barely met and now you’re all my friends." A judge sent Luther to jail on Tuesday for contempt of court after she refused to shutter her business and apologize for violating the governor's coronavirus orders. The move caused instant controversy, with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton among those calling it "outrageous" that Luther ended up in jail, per CBS News. Abbott also called the judge's move "excessive." On Friday, as part of the state's loosening of coronavirus restrictions, all salons will be allowed to reopen anyway. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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