DENVER (CBS4) – A Denver woman who made what she thought was a harmless call to a radio station turned herself in Wednesday on charges of lying to get out of jury duty.
Susan Cole, 57, faces charges of first-degree perjury and attempt to influence a public servant after she called in to a KOA-AM show last fall and told her story.
Radio hosts Dave Logan and Dave Krieger were taking listener calls on how to avoid jury duty in October 2011. Authorities said Cole used the name Char and went into great detail about how she was able to get excused from jury duty the previous June. The following is exactly what she said on the show:
“I decided not to put my makeup on and I put black eyebrows on. I put bright red lipstick on. I left my hair in my curlers and I put on a t-shirt that said ‘Ask Me About My Best-Seller,’ When they asked me about mental issues I got up and said, ‘Yeah, I have some mental issues.’ Then the judge said, ‘Does anyone care if she leaves?’ And everybody else said all at once in a great big voice, ‘No.’ “
Cole, a hairdresser, said that she thought the situation was very humorous.
“For about two weeks every time my roommate thought about it or I told my clients about it, we would cry because we laughed so hard,” Cole told CBS4.
According to the Denver District Attorney’s Office, the judge from the case was listening to the radio show at the time and didn’t think it was so funny.
“The judge who had been the judge in the courtroom back in June happened to be listening and recognized the story,” said Lynn Kimbrough with the Denver District Attorney’s Office.
The judge filed a complaint. That lead to felony perjury charges. Cole now faces as much as six years in prison.
Cole says she’s done nothing wrong. She says she’s a former military wife suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
“I don’t have a life. My life is to listen to KOA. I don’t even have a TV,” she said.
Cole says she never lied under oath, and was using her First Amendment rights on the radio.
“When you called the radio station were you just kidding?” CBS4 reporter Tom Mustin asked Cole.
“No. If you listen to the clip it says I’m making a confession. In (the King James Bible) it says ‘Confess your sins.’ I was embarrassed,” she replied.
As the case moves through the justice system, Cole says she’s just hoping to survive.
“I haven’t eaten for two days,” she said. “That’s one of the symptoms. You just don’t eat. I’m in shock.”