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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Area man charged for skipping his jury duty

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A Spirit Lake man who didn't show up for jury duty ultimately found himself in front of a judge.

Authorities said James Ahart failed to show up for jury duty twice last year in U.S. District Court in Sioux City. District Judge Mark W. Bennett sentenced Ahart on Monday to one day in jail.

"You're honest, but you didn't take jury service seriously. And maybe word will get out and this won't happen again," Bennett said.

Bennett said it's the first time in his 13 1/2 years on the bench that he's sentenced someone to jail for skipping out on jury service.

Ahart told the judge that he missed a July jury summon because he was visiting family. He also said he didn't receive a notice to appear on Dec. 10 for jury duty, but court records show he was notified by mail and the court's automated phone system.

Ahart added that he thought his work was more important than reporting for jury service.

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