Texas salon owner gets 7 days in jail for reopening in defiance of COVID-19 restrictions

DALLAS -- A Texas salon owner will spend seven days in jail after she refused to apologize for opening her business in defiance of COVID-19 restrictions.

A Dallas County judge offered Shelley Luther, the owner of Salon a la Mode, a deal -- apologize for being selfish for having her salon open while everyone else’s were closed, pay a fine, shut down until Friday and she could avoid jail time.

"I have to disagree with you, sir, when you say that I'm selfish -- because feeding my kids is not selfish," Luther told the judge. "I have hairstylists that are going hungry because they would rather feed their kids  So sir, if you think the law is more important than kids getting fed, then please go ahead with your decision, but I am not going to shut the salon."

Since she refused to apologize, bailiffs led the woman away to be booked into jail. The seven-day sentence represents the seven days her salon was open in spite of the countywide order.

Moye had previously granted the city of Dallas a temporary restraining order and told the salon owner to close her doors immediately. He agreed the business posed "adverse public health effects" from the spread of COVID-19.

But Luther, who had already been cited by city officials, ignored the TRO issued by the judge.

The hearing Tuesday, May 5, which sometimes became contentious, took a brief recess during Governor Greg Abbott's news conference that included details about the reopening of barbershops and hair salons Friday, May 8.

Luther’s sentence was seven days in jail for the criminal violation and seven days for the civil violation. The sentences will run concurrently. She must also pay a $7,000 fine.