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Man opts for racism to dodge jury duty

Published Aug. 12, 1998|Updated Sep. 13, 2005

All Michael H. Egli had to do to get out of jury duty was be honest and say he requires kidney dialysis. Instead he sent a judge a racist letter and is now paying the price.

Not realizing he had a legitimate excuse not to serve, Egli responded to a summons to report to jury duty in June with a note reading "I hate n------, cops and judges."

The excuse wasn't good enough for Volusia County Chief Circuit Judge Richard Orfinger, who ordered Egli, of Ormond Beach, back to court last month.

Egli wrote back "I hate n------, I hate judges. I'm not going to appear!"

Orfinger again ordered Egli to the court. He arrived Monday to explain himself.

He told the judge he listened to a friend's advice that an outrageous, bigoted remark would result in his removal from the jury pool.

Orfinger told Egli he could either apologize and agree to 50 hours of community service or face a contempt hearing and up to six months in jail. Egli chose the apology and service.

"Since he feels so warmly toward blacks and police officers, I think I can find something appropriate serving those groups," Orfinger said.

The choices could include picking up trash around historically black Bethune-Cookman College or washing police cars.

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