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Dallas salon owner who reopened in defiance of Texas’ coronavirus restrictions sentenced to 7 days in jail

Shelley Luther. (Dallas County Sheriff's Department/Released)

Minutes after Gov. Greg Abbott announced salons and barbershops in Texas could reopen Friday, a Dallas salon owner was sentenced to seven days in jail Tuesday for violating state and county orders to close her salon amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Shelley Luther, owner of Salon a la Mode, was fined to $7,000 for ignoring a restraining order from state District Judge Eric Moyé, according to the Dallas Morning News. She also received a cease-and-desist letter from County Judge Clay Jenkins on Friday. She ripped up the letter the next day at a rally.

“Come and get it, Judge Clay Jenkins. Come and get it,” she said at the time, the Morning News reported. “You have rights to feed your children and make income. And anyone that wants to take away those rights is wrong.”

Luther reopened her salon on April 24 after Dallas County ordered all nonessential businesses to close in March. Since then, Luther said she hadn’t earned income and didn’t receive a federal loan aimed at supporting small businesses until Sunday.

Luther said she reopened the salon while following social distancing guidelines, but the city attorney argued that it didn’t matter because Luther defied the judge’s temporary restraining order.

Warren Norred, Luther’s attorney, said the salon will remain open before the governor’s order goes into effect Friday, meaning Luther will be fined $500 per day.

A similar case could be unfolding in Oregon, where a salon reopened on Tuesday morning in the capital city of Salem, the Statesman Journal of the USA TODAY Network reported. Protesters showed up with American flags and signs to support Glamour Salon owner Lindsey Graham.

“I want (people) to understand I’m doing this to provide for my family. No other reason,” said Graham, adding that she plans to stay open “as long as the government allows me to. Before they throw me in jail.”

Like Luther, Graham said the salon is following social distancing guidelines by providing gloves and masks to employees, and regularly disinfecting equipment.

Gov. Kate Brown said last week that some parts of Oregon could start to reopen as early as May 15. Violating state orders can result in a maximum penalty of $12,675.


© 2020 USA Today