Tardy Lawyer Jailed for Lying at Own Trial

Times Staff Writer

A Van Nuys lawyer has been ordered to serve five days in County Jail by a San Fernando municipal judge for lying about why he was late for his own trial on a traffic offense.

Daniel Webster Bowles III, 36, was declared in contempt of court Wednesday after he told Judge Michael S. Luros that he was two hours late for the trial because he had to wait for a case in Van Nuys, Luros said. Bowles was before Luros on a citation for driving with a suspended license.

Luros said he suspected that the story was not true, went to his office and called the Van Nuys courtroom where Bowles supposedly had spent the morning. The judge said he found that Bowles did not have a case scheduled there.

"The clerk told me he had just poked his head in and left," Luros said. "So I advised him of his rights and asked him, 'Is what you told me true?'

"He said, 'No.' "

Luros found Bowles in contempt, and, besides imposing the jail term, ordered him to pay a $500 fine. A hearing was scheduled for Monday on the contempt finding.

Bowles, who could not be reached for comment, pleaded guilty to the driving violation and was immediately ordered by Luros into custody to begin serving a five-day sentence on that offense.

Bowles will likely serve the five-day contempt sentence immediately after his other five-day term, Luros said.

Luros said it was the first time he has ordered an attorney to jail for contempt. "It really was unusual," he said.

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