Ray Allen returned to Kevin Garnett’s good graces but ran afoul of the law in short order.
U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke ripped the NBA legend and former Boston Celtics star Wednesday for failing to show up for jury duty. Allen was among the 12 jurors and two alternates selected for the federal trial of Jorge Aponte Figueroa, who accused of fatally shooting a driver in a carjacking incident. Cooke even delayed the start of the trial by one day so that Allen could participate in Garnett’s March 13 jersey-number retirement ceremony. However, when the trial started March 15, Allen wasn’t present and he didn’t respond to a courtroom deputy’s efforts to reach him.
Cook then issued an order to “show cause” why the former Boston Celtics star should not be punished for failing to appear as a juror.
“Mr. Allen’s actions in failing to appear for jury duty are both baffling and disconcerting,” Cooke wrote in her show-cause order, per the Miami Herald’s Jay Weaver. “Through his actions in failing to appear for jury duty, Mr. Allen appears to not appreciate or understand the importance of jury service. The right to a trial by jury is sacrosanct. However, the right to trial by jury can only be preserved if those who are chosen to serve on a jury actually fulfill their obligation to serve.”
Cooke fined Allen $1,000 and ordered him to donate it to a charity of his choice.
Allen’s lawyer issued an apology on his behalf, claiming his absence “was a complete misunderstanding.”
Jurors ultimately convicted Aponte Figueroa without Allen’s input.