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Texas lt. governor covers fine of salon owner jailed for defying coronavirus restrictions

Texas lt. governor covers fine of salon owner jailed for defying coronavirus restrictions
© CBS affiliate

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Wednesday he would pay fines owed by hair salon owner Shelley Luther after she was sentenced to serve seven days in jail for opening her business before state stay-at-home orders were lifted.

Luther reopened her Dallas-based business Salon À la Mode in late April in defiance of social distancing orders, only to be tried and sentenced to jail by district court Judge Eric Moyé.

She was ordered by Moyé to pay a fine of $3,500 with $500 added for every day her business remains open until Friday, the day Gov. Greg Abbot's (R) executive order allows barbershops and salons to reopen across the state, according to CBS.

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Patrick said Wednesday that he would take care of Luther's fees, even volunteering to go under house arrest in exchange for her release from jail, he said on Twitter.

"7 days in jail, no bail and a $7K fine is outrageous. No surprise Texans are responding. 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," Patrick wrote.

CBS confirmed Patrick paid the fine.

Luther's case has sparked much outrage online and from several Texas officials, including Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, calling for her release.

She has said that her defiance of guidelines serves as a protest and is due to her need to work to feed her children.