LeBron James reported ahead of schedule for jury duty Thursday morning at the Summit County Courthouse, but he and other members of the pool were sent home after two potential criminal trials did not take place.
One defendant who was scheduled for trial, in Common Pleas Judge Tom Teodosio’s court, did not appear and had a bench warrant issued for his arrest.
The other defendant, in Judge Tom Parker’s court, pleaded guilty to a drug offense during pretrial proceedings.
Citizen James, meanwhile, sat “quietly and appreciatively” in the ground-floor office of a court official who supervises the jury pool in a larger seating area nearby, Sheriff’s Lt. Kandy Fatheree said.
James was at the courthouse by about 8:20 a.m., 10 minutes ahead of the scheduled reporting time for potential jurors, she said.
Fatheree, head of courthouse security, said James arrived with a friend and a Bath Township police officer who provides security for the NBA superstar when he is in town. No other special services were provided, except to grant James’ request to sit in the jury foreman’s office so he would not attract undue attention, Fatheree said.
While waiting to be called for service, James read a book in the office, she said.
The jury foreman declined to comment.
James left the courthouse about 9:30 a.m., Fatheree said, after he and the other members of the jury pool, about 50 in all, were sent home.
Before they left, Teodosio thanked James and the others for their service “like I do in all cases,” the judge said. “It’s an important duty they perform for the community and the justice system.”
James, who lives in Bath Township, had posted pictures of himself as he was preparing to go to the courthouse.
“Jury duty time. Time to serve my civic duty,’’ James wrote on his Instagram photo account.
Fatheree said it was fun to see the reactions of the other jurors when they saw James in the waiting area.
“As soon as he walked in I just scanned the room, and everyone knew immediately who he was,” she said. “It was kind of funny to see the movements of everyone whispering to each other.”
Fatheree said she is certain her grandson will be disappointed when he learns that she did not ask James for his autograph.
Beacon Journal staff writer Phil Trexler contributed to this report. Ed Meyer can be reached at 330-996-3784 or firstname.lastname@example.org.