Shelley Luther, 46, was imprisoned for a week under court sentence, which is part of broader efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19. Luther was jailed on Tuesday and fined $ 7,000, according to CBS Dallas Forth Worth.
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Luther refused to close his trendy salon business last month under the governor’s general stay order, which affects all non-essential businesses, including nail salons. She kept the store open even after receiving a citation, a cease and desist letter and a restraining order, the court said.
Luther, who also runs Hot Mess Enterprises, openly broke his cease and desist order last week during an anti-lockout event called “Open Texas”.
Anti-lockout activists in the United States have rallied to the cause of Luther, and a GoFundMe page to help his business has raised more than US $ 273,000 to date. The page describes the owner of a hair salon as an “American hero.”
Luther admitted his business was still partially open at his sentencing hearing in Dallas Tuesday after a judge chastised him for ignoring a law supposed to keep everyone safe.
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Dallas Civil District judge Eric Moye described Luther’s conduct as “egregious and intentional” and cited his absence of “remorse or regret” in his decision, according to court documents.
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“The rule of law governs us,” Moye told the court. “People cannot take it upon themselves to determine what they will and will not do.”
He added that he was willing to give Luther a lighter sentence if she simply admitted that she was wrong and apologized for his “selfish” actions.
“I must disagree with you, sir, when you say I am selfish because feeding my children is not selfish,” she said in court, according to CBS Dallas Fort Worth.
“I have hairdressers who are hungry because they prefer to feed their children. So, sir, if you think the law is more important than nursing children, then go ahead, please, but I’m not going to close the room. “
Luther was arrested at the hearing, but his lawyer plans to appeal.
Dallas County is currently the second most affected region in Texas, with more than 4,600 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 121 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University on Tuesday.
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Texas Governor Greg Abbott will allow hair salons, hair salons, and nail salons to reopen on Friday. The governor recommended that employees and customers wear face masks.
Many countries have blocked non-essential services to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but no country has seen the kind of resistance displayed in the United States, where some have fought angrily at any effort to restrict individual freedoms for the greater public good.
Protests have broken out across the country in recent weeks, many of them led by far-right, pro-gun and pro-Trump groups.
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The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 72,000 Americans since the start of the epidemic, and blockages to slow the spread of the virus have plunged millions of people into economic distress, regardless of political background. The overall number of infections has slowed, but the data shows that it is largely because the worst affected New York epidemic has been brought under control. Infection rates continue to rise in much of the rest of the country.
President Donald Trump has urged state governors to start reopening the economy, which he has often linked to his re-election efforts.
“The people of our country are warriors,” said Trump at a roundtable on Tuesday. “I’m not saying that something is perfect. Yes, will some people be affected? Yes. Will some people be seriously affected? Yes. But we have to open our country and we have to open it soon. “
Health experts have warned that easing social distancing measures could trigger a second wave of infections and deaths.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you should know:
Symptoms may include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing – very similar to a cold or the flu. Some people may develop a more serious illness. Those most at risk are the elderly and people with serious chronic conditions such as heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend washing your hands frequently and coughing up your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying at home as much as possible, and keeping two meters away from others if you go out.
For full COVID-19 coverage by Global News, click here.
– With files from the Associated Press and Reuters
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