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Woman's loud praise _ and curses _ lead to charges

Friday - 6/8/2012, 11:25am  ET

BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) - A Tennessee woman says she was just praising the Lord, although at high volume, when she received a citation accusing her of violating the city's noise ordinance. She later was arrested by police on a disorderly conduct charge.

Fifty-four-year-old Betty Jones tells WCYB-TV ( http://bit.ly/MRbxOu) that her routine every Sunday includes five hours of praising and dancing, while she listens to music by Johnny Cash, Randy Travis, Alan Jackson and The Judds.

But neighbors in Bristol complained about loud music, so police showed up on May 27, a Sunday. A police report says officers helped her lower her stereo's base and warned her. But officers say they came back less than two hours later being called again.

This, time they cited her under the city's noise ordinance, and Jones tells the station she gave the officers a message too.

"Randy Travis was singing `I'm going home to pray to God tonight and hopefully he'll forgive my sins.' I looked at that officer and said `you better go home tonight and pray for your sins because that's what Randy is telling you," she said. "That's the gospel truth. Randy Travis told that man to go home and pray."

After more neighborhood complaints, officers went back May 28 and arrested Jones after she concedes that she was "going off and cussing." Still, she says she should have the right to praise God in her own home.

She was charged with disorderly conduct and violating the noise ordinance. She spent the night in jail.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)