A Florida man who overslept and missed the beginning of a trial he'd be assigned to learned that some judges really don't like it when you try to skip out on jury duty.
Deandre Somerville, 21, was initially summoned for jury duty back in August and eventually sworn in as a juror on a civil case. He was due to show up the next day for the beginning of the trial, but as fate would have it, he missed his alarm and overslept.
"I woke up and I was like, 'Oh shoot, it's past the time,' Somerville told WFLA.
Because it was nearly time for him to go to his job at the Parks and Recreation Department where he works with kids in an afternoon program, he didn't bother going to the courtroom or let the baliff know what happened, hoping it would all just work out.
“At work, I was looking on my phone thinking, ‘What’s the worst case scenario that could happen?’ I thought maybe I would get a fine or something like that,” Somerville said in a phone interview with Boston.com.
However, because Somerville failed to notify the court and let them know what happened, a few days later, a subpoena arrived, ordering him to go before the judge in the case. When Somerville eventually appeared in court to answer for him oversleeping, Judge John Kastrenakes told the 21-year-old that him oversleeping had delayed court proceedings by 45 minutes, despite the court's efforts to reach him
“I said, ‘Sir, honestly I overslept and I didn’t understand the seriousness of this.’ He asked me if I had a criminal record. I said, ‘Sir, I’ve never been arrested,'” Somerville told the station.
Despite Somerville's pleas, the judge in the case sentenced the 21-year-old to serve 10 days in jail. He's also been put on probation for the next year and will have to complete 150 hours of community service. He was also required to write a letter of apology to the court and pay $223 to cover court costs.
"When a juror is selected and sworn, the administration of justice in this courthouse depends on you following the orders of the court," Kastrenakes said, according to court records
“It hurts, but it’s a lesson learned. It could have been worse. He could have given me 365 days in jail,” said Somerville.
At a hearing on Friday, Somerville read his apology to the court, saying he made an immature decision and had paid for it with his freedom.
"I am extremely sorry for my actions," Somerville read. "I also sincerely apologize for delaying the trial by 45 minutes and not being considerate of other people's time."
During Friday's hearing, the judge reduced his probation period to three months and community service hours to 30 hours.