Prospective juror jailed for 24 hrs after judge demanded he wear a mask when it wasn’t mandatory

A North Carolina judge went on a power trip when a father showed up for potential jury duty and decided not to wear a mask in a mask-optional courthouse, ruling the man was in contempt and throwing him in jail for 24 hours without bond.

(Video Credit: Fox News)

“I never thought I would show up to jury duty and end up behind bars. So it happened,” Gregory Hahn told Fox News host Tucker Carlson on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

Judge Charles Gilchrist, who was first nominated to the bench by former Democratic Gov. Bev Purdue, found Hahn guilty of contempt when he would not comply and put on a mask while in the courthouse. North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper reportedly lifted his statewide mandate months ago on forced mask-wearing in government buildings.

Hahn is a Navy veteran and has served as a member of the President’s Honor Guard at Arlington National Cemetery.

He stated that there were 98 potential jurors to choose from and the judge could have simply dismissed him when he declined to wear a mask. Clerks told the jury pool that Gilchrist personally required masks in his courtroom.

“We were in [an assembly room] for about 20 to 30 minutes, shoulder-to-shoulder, with three-quarters of us not wearing masks,” Hahn recounted. “So the virus — if there was virus out there – contaminated us anyway. So I was called when they called roll call, I made eye contact with the clerk and she said, ‘I need you to come over here for not wearing the mask.’”

He told Judge Gilchrist that the governor dropped the state mandate on May 4 and that Harnett County doesn’t have one. That apparently ticked off the judge.

Gilchrist asked Hahn if he knew what the penalty he faced was. Hahn asked if he meant for not wearing a mask, and the judge told him, no… for contempt. He was informed he could be subjected to a $500 fine and 30 days in prison. Hahn still refused to put on a mask and was subsequently ordered to spend 24 hours behind bars.

“It was the worst 24 hours of my life. I was refused to make a phone call to my minor child who is home,” he recalled. “I asked to be excused since I wasn’t even selected for jury duty yet; it was still orientation. He could have exempted me. There was 98 people that showed up for jury duty and I thought I was just going to be in a holding cell for 24 hours.”

Instead, he was put into an orange jumpsuit and given toiletries before allegedly being put in solitary confinement until the next afternoon.

Carlson noted that the judge involved “sounds like a complete lunatic.” He said he hoped that Gilchrist would be pulled from the bench over the incident.

“You would have been better just selling fentanyl to children because that’s now allowed,” Carlson stated. He asserted that Gilchrist probably singled Hahn out because of the current political climate of trying to separate the disobedient from the obedient.

“I can tell just by looking at you. You’re probably not a Biden voter. And my guess is, I’m just guessing here, my guess is that the judge could feel that, too. Do you think they may have had something to do with it? You’re not obedient,” Carlson asked Hahn.

The veteran said he had a feeling there was definitely some bias there. He also commented that he always tells his kids to stand up and do the right thing and not be bullied. He wished others had stood with him in court against the judge’s overreach.

“The irony of all this is the judge was talking to me without a mask,” Hahn said in a television interview with WRAL. “If safety was such a concern, I go to jail, no mask requirements with inmates.”

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