Salon Owner Sentenced To Jail For Ignoring Social Distancing 'Has No Remorse Or Regret'

by Cassandra Stone
Salon Owner Sentenced To Jail For Ignoring Social Distancing 'Has No Remorse Or Regret'
CBS News/Youtube

After ripping up a cease-and-desist letter, the Dallas salon owner chose to go to jail

Shelley Luther, owner of Salon À la Mode in Dallas, Texas, chose to serve jail time for violating orders to close down her salon during the statewide coronavirus restrictions. Luther was operating business even through a temporary restraining order issued last week from a Dallas County State District Judge.

Despite being served a cease-and-desist letter ordering her to close, Luther continued business as usual and even ripped up the letter in front of a crowd of protestors during an “Open Texas” rally on April 25, per NBC News.

Dallas County Judge Eric Moye held Shelley Luther, owner of Salon À la Mode, and her corporate entity, Hot Mess Enterprises, in criminal and civil contempt. Luther’s refusal to case the salon’s operations was “open, flagrant, and intentional,” according to Moye, who sentenced her to serve seven days in jail as a result of her defiance.

“The defendants, although having been given an opportunity to do so, have expressed no contrition, remorse or regret for their contemptuous action,” Moye said.

Luther, who also faces at least $3,500 in fines in addition to her jail sentence, told Moye she was trying to prevent her children and employees from “going hungry” and that she wasn’t being selfish.

“I have to disagree when you say I’m selfish, because feeding my kids is not selfish,” Luther said. “I have hair stylists going hungry because they’d rather feed their kids. If you think law is more important than kids being fed, go ahead with your decision. But I’m not going to shut the salon.”

Her attorney, Warren Norred, told the Washington Post he would be filing a petition for a writ of habeas corpus to try to free Luther from jail. He also said her salon would not be shutting down before Friday, despite incurring a $500 fine for every day it violates Judge Moye’s order.

“She feels what she’s doing is right, and she feels as though the way to get past this is to recognize that you can’t back down,” Norred told The Washington Post. “The judge was sending a message that we’re going to come after you with both barrels if you deign to stay open and cut hair when the king is not allowing you to.”

Though hair and nail salons are eligible to reopen Friday, May 8 in Texas, NBC News reports that at least 33,369 cases of coronavirus and 906 deaths have been reported as of this week. In Dallas County, there have been at least 4,370 cases and 114 deaths.