Judge jails juror accused of lying in bid to avoid serving

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

PITTSBURGH – A juror in Pennsylvania was briefly jailed after a prosecutor reportedly overheard him telling other jurors that he had lied in an attempt to get out jury duty.

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The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that 39-year-old Daniel Puhala was held Monday in an Allegheny County courthouse cell for direct criminal contempt.

The judge released Puhala late in the day after criticizing him for “playing the system.”

Deputy District Attorney Jennifer DiGiovanni says she heard Puhala tell other jurors he was surprised to be picked because he had said “everything right” and had lied about being a victim of a crime in the past.

An attorney appointed to defend Puhala says he was joking with the other jurors and didn’t actually lie.