A Denver woman has been charged with lying to duck jury duty after a judge recognized a radio-show caller bragging about how she acted crazy to get off a jury.
Susan A. Cole, 57, was formally charged with felony perjury and attempting to influence a public servant, Denver district attorney spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough said Wednesday. An arrest warrant has been issued and Cole is expected to surrender later this week.
According to an arrest affidavit, Cole concocted an elaborate plan to appear "mentally unbalanced" when she showed up for jury duty in Denver District Court on June 28.
She left her hair rolled in curlers of different colors, shapes and sizes, slathered on "excessive" makeup and dressed in mismatched shoes with holiday reindeer socks and a T-shirt emblazoned with, "Ask Me About My Best Seller," the affidavit said.
Cole initially was selected for a jury, which was sworn in by Judge Anne Mansfield.
But Cole raised her hand when Mansfield asked if anyone on the panel was unable to serve because of a physical or mental disability, the affidavit said.
"I'm juror 4361 and I broke out of domestic violence in the military," Cole said, according to a court transcript. "And I have a lot of repercussions. One is post-traumatic stress disorder. Another thing is I get very confused in the morning when I try to get ready."
"And I'll tell you what, I just get too emotional," Cole told the judge. "And breaking out of domestic violence with a suitcase on my back from Germany and my military records are now missing. I have lived on the street, and I have worked myself up to living with my cousin and stuff. And I don't want to emotionally go through this."
Mansfield confirmed Cole's name and excused her from jury service.
But on the evening of Oct. 11, Mansfield remembered the troubled juror when she heard a caller identified as "Char from Denver" on KOA radio's Dave Logan Show.
The caller said she wanted to avoid jury duty on June 28, because the day before she mistakenly thought her roommate had been killed in a motorcycle accident.
It turned out the roommate was OK, but Char said the next morning "she was still so emotionally overcome and had too many other activities coming up (so) she did not want to be involved in jury service," the affidavit said.
The caller then told an "elaborate story of how she deliberately dressed in a disheveled and uncoordinated fashion with the intent of appearing mentally unstable," the affidavit said.
The woman said her ruse worked so well that she was drawing stares from fellow jurors, and the judge ultimately excused her, the affidavit said.
Char said her crazy getup was "out of character for her as she was a beautician by profession and sold Mary Kay products," the affidavit said.
Char described cracking up clients at her hair-styling salon with how she fooled the judge. "They all found the story amusing," according to the affidavit.
The judge listening to the radio show wasn't laughing.
"I am not an educated woman. I broke a law. I don't know what I did," said Cole in an interview with 7NEWS.
When asked to elaborate, Cole said, "I don't want to speak no more. You guys are interrogating me."
Mansfield reported Cole to the Denver District Attorney's Office. Cole now faces two felony charges.
Denver District Attorney spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough told 7NEWS, this may be the first case of its kind in Denver.
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