Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said that he would pay the $7,000 fine for a Dallas salon owner arrested for defying social distancing orders and offered to be placed under house arrest to take her place in jail.
Shelley Luther became the masked face of the anti-lockdown movement when she gave a passionate response to a judge demanding that she apologize and admit she was wrong to reopen her salon amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"7 days in jail, no bail and a $7K fine is outrageous. No surprise Texans are responding," tweeted Patrick on Wednesday.
7 days in jail, no bail and a $7K fine is outrageous. No surprise Texans are responding. I’m covering the $7K fine… https://t.co/WLU20ns0cN— Dan Patrick (@Dan Patrick) 1588799033.0
"I'm covering the $7K fine she had to pay and I volunteer to be placed under House Arrest so she can go to work and feed her kids," he added.
Many others have been outraged at the plight of Luther, who said she was merely trying to keep working so she could feed her children. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton decried the sentence and called for Luther to be released.
"I find it outrageous and out of touch that during this national pandemic, a judge, in a county that actually released hardened criminals for fear of contracting COVID-19, would jail a mother for operating her hair salon in an attempt to put food on her family's table," said Paxton.
"The trial judge did not need to lock up Shelley Luther," he continued. "His order is a shameful abuse of judicial discretion, which seems like another political stunt in Dallas. He should release Ms. Luther immediately."
Patrick made headlines early in the outbreak of the coronavirus when he said that American grandparents would rather be infected with coronavirus and die than let the economy be damaged for their grandchildren.
Hair salons will be allowed to open on Friday, but Luther said that she had a right to keep her salon open. She will be fined $500 for every day that her salon is open. She says she will continue to keep it open and appeal the decision.
Here's more about the Luther case:
Dallas hair salon owner gets jail time for reopening store www.youtube.com