Citizen James' jury duty bid falls short after guilty plea
AFPCLEVELAND, Ohio -- LeBron James was all set perform his civic duty Thursday by sitting on a jury, but the NBA star was sent home when the criminal trial didn't take place.
August 10, 2013, 12:08 am TWN
The Miami Heat forward tweeted a photo of himself leaving his home Thursday morning to report for jury duty at the Summit County courthouse in the state of Ohio.
“Jury duty time. Time to serve my civic duty,” he wrote.
The accompanying photo showed the 2.03-meter (6-foot, 8-inch)-tall James bringing along a hardcover book to read in case there was a long wait.
James's presence created a stir at the courthouse and he was allowed to wait in the office of a court official before all the potential jurors were ushered into the courtroom before a judge, the Akron Beacon Journal reported Thursday.
“As soon as he walked in I just scanned the room, and everyone knew immediately who he was,” police Lieutenant Kandy Fatheree, who is head of courthouse security, told the newspaper.
“It was kind of funny to see the movements of everyone whispering to each other.”
James left about an hour later after he and the others — some 50 members of the jury pool — were sent home because a defendant pleaded guilty in pretrial proceedings to a drug offense.
Jury service is compulsory in America and repeatedly ignoring a jury summons is not illegal but can result in some strict penalties.
The nine-time NBA all-star and future Hall of Famer James led the Heat to their third NBA championship last season.
James has two championship rings, two Olympic gold medals, four NBA Most Valuable Player awards and two NBA finals MVP awards.