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Woman Sentenced To Community Service For Rejoicing Loudly In Court

October 12, 1995

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) _ A school bus driver given a jail sentence for loudly rejoicing after her brother was acquitted of murder will instead have to do community service.

Irish Lopez jumped for joy and shouted ``Thank you, Jesus″ when a jury found Reginald Walker innocent on Oct. 2. Broward County Circuit Judge Mark Speiser sentenced her to 10 days behind bars for contempt of court.

After meeting with Lopes’ attorney, Speiser changed the sentence to 20 hours of community service in her church.

``All I heard her say was `hallelujah,′ and she was making a lot of noise,″ Speiser said. ``This was within a foot to a foot and a half of the family of the victim. It was very inappropriate.″

Lopes, 34, said Wednesday she felt she had done nothing wrong and had been unable to restrain herself.

Walker, 38, was on trial for the 1980 stabbing death of Bridget Denning, 27. He could have faced the electric chair if convicted.

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