INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (AP) _ Kansas City Chiefs running back Marcus Allen has been released from jury duty so the court could focus on the case _ not the star in the jury box.

Allen took a 1 a.m. flight from his winter home in California on Monday and drew a frenzy of autograph seekers and Chiefs fans as he walked through the Jackson County Courthouse.

He asked Circuit Judge Jack E. Gant to be excused because of obligations in California, and Gant agreed, but for a better reason.

``No one would have paid attention to what was being said in court'' if Allen was on the jury, Gant said.

Before the football star left, the judge got autographs for himself and his two grandsons.