Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton called the jail sentence of a Dallas salon owner who defied coronavirus shutdown orders “excessive” on Wednesday.

In a statement, Paxton said it was a “shameful abuse of discretion” when Dallas County Judge Eric Moye sentenced Salon À la Mode owner Shelley Luther to seven days in jail when she was trying “to put food on her family’s table.”

“He should release Ms. Luther immediately,” he said.

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Moye found Luther in criminal and civil contempt after she refused to heed a court order and stop operating her salon.

“The defiance of the court’s order was open, flagrant and intentional,” Moye wrote Tuesday. “The defendants, although having been given an opportunity to do so, have expressed no contrition, remorse or regret for their contemptuous action.”

Hair salons will be allowed to open across the state Friday with social distancing rules in effect.

More than 34,000 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed across the state, according to an NBC News tally. Nearly 1,000 people have died.


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