Deandre Somerville, a 21-year student, was sentenced to ten days in jail in August, for missing a court case in which he was meant to serve as a witness.
Somerville was said to have overslept for a jury service in a Florida Courtroom, United States of America, prompting Judge John Kastrenakes to send him to jail, plus one year on probation and 150 hours of community service.
According to abc7ny, Somerville works at after-school programs for the city of West Palm Beach Parks and Recreation Department. He then received his first-ever warrant to appear in court as a witness in a civil case.
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The report said he was told to appear in court a day after he went to present himself.
However, he missed his alarm and woke up around 11:30 a.m, while the case was scheduled for 9.00 a.m. Instead, Somerville left for his afternoon job and didn’t bother to go to court, or call the bailiff.
He lives with his grandparents and, takes care for his grandfather, who recently had surgery and has difficulty walking.
His grandmother informed him that a police officer was looking for him, while he was playing basketball in the neighbourhood.
“My grandfather said, ‘Just go in and be honest,’” Somerville said.
“I’ve never had a criminal background, never been arrested, never been in handcuffs. The most I’ve ever gotten was a traffic ticket so I was thinking it wouldn’t be that bad.”
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The Judge was said to have been furious that Somerville’s negligence delayed the court by 45 minutes.
“They handcuffed me in the courtroom after that,” he added, and was led to prison, where he spent 10 days.
He said his first jail experience was not scary, adding that he prayed everyday and wrote in a notebook.
“Now I have a record. I almost feel like a criminal now. Now, I have to explain this in every interview,” he regretted.
Somerville said he plans to go to school to become a firefighter in the future.