Student Fakes Her Own Death to Avoid Jury Duty

Written by: Madeline Mozafari

“RIP, and by that I mean rest in perjury,” said an anonymous student.
Photo by Maria Dhilla

After hearing the news that her roommate Ayla Burton passed away, Erin Angstrom tweeted, “my goth roommate is so dramatic, she got a summons for jury duty and checked off the box that says you’re dead. props to her for committing to the bit tho lmao,” and “y’all the police just came to my door asking if id seen my roomie and i said shes probably halfway to transylvania by now. do you think i’ll get in trouble?” The official Twitter account of UCSD Housing Dining Hospitality, @ucsdhdh, responded, “You are not in trouble if you are not found guilty. However, please notify us if your roommate has stopped living with you, as we have students on the waitlist. —HDH.”

Following a social media storm that involved students posting supposed “ghost sightings” of Burton, her parents were interviewed by a student particularly insistent on the falsity of Burton’s death. The student, who wishes to remain anonymous, cited her “inimitable faith in the United States Justice System” and “excellent sense for the paranormal” as her reasons for investigating Burton’s death. Her report quotes Burton’s mother as stating: “What? Dead? I was just on the phone with her. I gave her a to-do list, half of which was really just my to-do list. Wait, you’re not from the Superior Court of the County of San Diego, are you? Because if you are, then she is dead, and I am just crazy. Anyway, you smell like garlic, so please get out of my house.”

Molly Raskin, Burton’s other roommate, was also interviewed by the determined student. Raskin reportedly stated, “I mean, she was always really pale and ice cold and never went into the sun, so it was like living with a ghost already. She also sleeps in a weirdly ornate box. And she never eats anything when we go to the dining hall together, but maybe she just has a sensitive stomach. Anyway, she was really nonchalant about the jury summons letter. She said something like, ‘Ugh, not again, this is the fifth time this century.’ Or maybe she said ‘semester’ and I just heard her wrong. Either way, I hope she comes back, as a ghost or otherwise, to return all of her Triton2Go boxes.”

In the spirit of Halloween, the Superior Court of the County of San Diego released a statement saying, “All beings summoned for jury duty must report to the courthouse or submit an exemption statement. Being among the undead is not a valid exemption. We want you here, undead or alive.”

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