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Judge sentences army veteran to jail and joins him to serve the time together behind bars

By Mason White 12:06 PM April 24, 2016
Judge Lou Olivera 

By: Wayne Morin
(Scroll down for video) A compassionate judge decided to spend time in jail together with an army veteran.

Joseph Serna went through a lot of hardships while serving the country.

The special forces veteran did three combat tours in Afghanistan, where many of his fellow soldiers died. He survived a roadside bomb and a suicide bomber, but many of his friends were not so lucky.

When he came home, Serne went into a downward spiral, which included post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a DWI charge.

He entered the veteran’s treatment court program. However, last week, he lied about his urine test, earning him a probation violation.

Cumberland County Judge Lou Olivera sentenced Serne to 24 hours in jail. The judge drove Serne to the jail.

Serne said that once he was inside his cell, the doors opened and the judge walked in. The door was then closed behind him, and the judge was locked inside together with Serne.

The judge, who is also an army veteran, said that he did not want to leave Serne alone and isolated for the night as his PTSD could flare up.

Serne said that he and the judge spoke all night “like father and son.” He is now determined to make the judge proud and get his life back on track.