A Waco man whom a judge threatened last week to throw in jail if he ignored another jury summons showed up for jury duty Monday at the McLennan County Courthouse three hours late, just in time to avoid an order for his arrest.
Judge Ralph Strother of Waco’s 19th State District Court last week hit Robert Flores-Martinez, 20, with a $100 fine because he missed jury service twice and displayed what the judge called an “indifferent, I-don’t-care-attitude” when deputies brought him to the courthouse.
He threatened to jail Flores-Martinez if he missed a third time. He made the same threat on Friday to Woodway resident Cooper Nall, a pizza restaurant employee whom deputies found and took to the courthouse.
Nall avoided a fine after apologizing to the judge. He said he was sick the night before the first appointment and overslept, and he forgot the second date. Nall appeared with a large group of potential jurors at 8:30 a.m. Monday and was released later in the morning when it was determined his services were not needed.
Flores-Martinez was not among the large panel and Strother ordered a warrant for his arrest and instructed deputies to go pick him up.
McLennan County District Clerk Jon Gimble said he prepared the writ of attachment for Flores-Martinez and was printing it out when the wayward Flores-Martinez walked into his office at 11:30 a.m., three hours late.
Gimble said Flores-Martinez, who struggles with English, explained he forgot jury service again. Gimble called Strother, who told Gimble to order Flores-Martinez to appear for jury selection in a child sexual assault case beginning in Strother’s court Thursday morning.
Strother said he decided against jailing Flores-Martinez because he eventually appeared before the warrant was served and he thinks the $100 fine issued last week was sufficient punishment for the contempt of court citation. The judge also said he thinks Flores-Martinez’s problems with English contributed to the situation.