Veteran Sent to Jail for Refusing to Wear Mask in Court


    Gregory Hahn, 47, along with 98 other applicants who were preparing for juror orientation arrived at the Harnett County Courthouse on Monday. A majority of jurors who were interested, including Hahn did not have masks, as he noted.

    “We were in [an assembly room] for about 20 to 30 minutes, shoulder-to-shoulder, with three-quarters of us not wearing masks,” Hahn told Tucker Carlson Tonight. “So the virus — if there was [a] virus out there – contaminated us anyway.”


    Although there was no mandate for masks in the courthouse, or even within the state, the judge Charles Gilchrist — appointed by the former Democrat Governor Bev Perdue — mandated that all courtroom attendees wear a mask.

    “You can go in any district courtroom without a mask, you can come into superior clerk court without a mask and the [district attorney's] office without a mask, but with Judge Gilchrist he has a mandate that you must wear a mask,” the clerk of Superior Court Renee Whittenton told WRAL.

    Whittenton claimed that Gilchrist is the sole superior judge within Harnett County with a mask requirement. Whittenton also said that every juror was informed of the rule and provided with an appropriate mask.

    In contrast, Hahn, a U.S. Navy veteran -reported to the local media that the prospective jurors were not informed prior to Gilchrist's mandate. The 47-year-old also stated that there weren't any signs at the courthouse that stated Gilchrist's obligation.

    When Hahn was brought before the bench, Gilchrist inquired about why Hahn didn't wear a face-covering. The judge also informed Hahn that he would be fined $500 or spend 30 days in jail for violation of the court.

    After he informed the judge that he would not wear the mask, Gilchrist made an order for Hahn to be detained for 24 hours in the county jail.

    When Hahn requested to be excused from the charge because the charge was only for a 24 hour delay, the judge sternly said, “I could, but I'm not going to.” The veteran remarked that the fact that he was not yet picked for jury duty because it was still in the orientation process.

    A few minutes later, Hahn was restrained, had his mugshot taken, and then was ordered to wear an orange jumpsuit. He was placed in a cell with no other people until the next day.

    “It was the most difficult day of my life. I was not allowed to make a call to my child who's at home.” Carlson said. Carlson:

    As per Hahn, Gilchrist was not in compliance himself when he placed the 47-year-old into jail.

    “The irony of all this is the judge was talking to me without a mask,” Hahn said to WRAL. He also said that the jail didn't have a mandate for masks.

    The veteran claims that he hasn't ruled out the possibility of filing a lawsuit.


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