DENVER – The lesson: if you’ve found a creative way to avoid jury duty, keep it to yourself.
The Denver District Attorney has charged a 54-year-old woman with two felonies for allegedly acting mentally unstable in order to avoid jury duty after she shared her story on talk radio.
Susan Cole faces charges of first degree perjury and attempting to influence a public servant.
According to the arrest affidavit, Judge Anne Mansfield was listening to the “Dave Logan Show” on 850 KOA radio on Oct. 11, 2011 when the hosts were taking calls on the topic of avoiding jury duty.
She heard a story that sounded quite familiar, so prosecutors download a recording of the show from the KOA website.
“One of the show’s callers related an elaborate story of how she deliberately dressed in a disheveled and uncoordinated fashion with the intent of appearing mentally unstable,” the affidavit states. “The caller then indicated that her appearance had the desired effect as it drew stares from fellow jurors and she was ultimately excused by the judge in the courtroom.”
Prosecutors say Cole called KOA using the name “Char from Denver” and explained how she wore mismatched shoes, reindeer socks, and a shirt with the caption “Ask me about my best seller” to court on June 28, 2011.
She also left her hair in curlers and applied an excessive amount of makeup.
When called for jury selection in a case that day, prosecutors say Cole told Judge Mansfield that she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder from military service, was the victim of domestic violence, and had been homeless.
She was immediately excused.
The DA’s Office checked juror logs from June 28 and tracked down Cole, who insisted that much of the story she shared in court was true. However, none of it could be verified, prosecutors say.
An arrest warrant has been issued for Cole, who is expected to surrender and go through the booking process later this week.