Texas salon owner Shelley Luther has been ordered to be released by the state Supreme Court after a she stood up to a judge who called her "selfish" for keeping her business open during the statewide coronavirus lockdown, before sentencing her to seven days in jail.
BREAKING: Dallas salon owner Shelley Luther ORDERED released by the Supreme Court of Texas. pic.twitter.com/DDdcPvo8cx— Jason Howerton (@jason_howerton) May 7, 2020
Before sentencing the 46-year-old Luther, Judge Eric V. Moyé of 14th Civil District Court in Dallas County said she acted selfishly when she resumed operations, and demanded that she apologize to elected officials whose orders she disobeyed. Moyé, who must moonlight as an epidemiologist, said that citizens must obey orders until a vaccine is found.
Shelley Luther just walked out jail and broke down in tears: pic.twitter.com/LTuyPIuFJf— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) May 7, 2020
"Failure to do so will only have catastrophic consequences," he said, adding "and those reach far beyond the exigencies of one family or one business."
Luther pushed back, saying in the now-viral video: "I have to disagree with you, sir, when you say that I’m selfish, because feeding my kids is not selfish," adding "So, sir, if you think the law’s more important than kids getting fed, then please go ahead with your decision. But I am not going to shut the salon."
A judge told Shelley Luther, the salon owner who opened her business in defiance of the governor's orders, that she had the option to avoid jail time if she admitted to the government she was "wrong" and "selfish" for opening.— Sara Gonzales (@SaraGonzalesTX) May 5, 2020
Here is her response:pic.twitter.com/s5SM2XKYSq
In response, Governor Greg Abbott - whose order Luther violated, and TX Attorney General Ken Paxton said the sentence was excessive and called for her immediate release.
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe account established for Luther has raised over $500,000, and new donations are no longer being accepted.