WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (WGHP) -- Deandre Somerville, 21, learned the hard way why you can't miss jury duty.
"After going through that, my life will never be the same again," he told WPTV.
In August, he was sworn in as a juror on a civil case. He understood he was to return the next day for the continuation of the trial, but he overslept.
"I woke up and I was like, 'Oh shoot, it's past the time,'" said Somerville.
Mistake number two: he didn't call the jury office to let them know what was going on. Days later, he was served with a subpoena to go before the judge.
"I talked to my grandad for a while and he said the best thing you can always do is honesty, so I went for the hearing," said Somerville.
Somerville lives with his grandparents and helps look after his grandfather by taking him to therapy.
"My grandma was saying, 'I think you should dress up,' and I said, 'Nah, I'm going to wear my work clothes cause I felt like at least he can see that I'm doing something, cause a lot of times people get stereotyped 'oh he's just another black boy out here doing something he's not supposed to be doing,'" said Somerville.
But the 21-year-old man could not imagine what was coming next. The judge asked him to explain why he did not show up to court when he was supposed to.
"I said, 'Sir, honestly I overslept and I didn't understand the seriousness of this.' He asked me if I had a criminal record. I said, 'Sir, I've never been arrested,'" added Somerville.
Court transcripts show Somerville apologized, but the judge sentenced him to 10 days in jail. Somerville said all he could think about was his grandfather.
"Like he depends on me, so it's hard for him," said Somerville.