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State Lawmaker Skips Jury Duty



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LOGAN, Utah (AP) -- A state senator must appear in court to explain why he missed jury duty.

Sen. Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, said he had state business on April 18, the same day as jury duty in 1st District Court.

He said he explained the conflict in a letter, but it wasn't delivered until the morning of the trial. "In hindsight, I should have spoken to them myself," said Hillyard, an attorney who has been a lawmaker since 1984.

On May 3, he is scheduled to represent a defendant at trial and also appear at his own hearing to explain why he didn't appear.

Possible penalties are fines, jail time or watching a video about jury duty. "Whatever Judge (Clint) Judkins does, I'll obey," Hillyard, 66, said. "If he throws me in jail for three years, that's what I'll do."

Hillyard probably would have been dismissed from a jury pool because he's a lawyer, Cache County Deputy Attorney Tony Baird said.

But "even a state senator has to show up for jury duty," Baird said.

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Information from: The Herald Journal

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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