Earlier this week, the crisp reds, whites, and blues of American flags popped a little more brightly against her amber waves of grain as actor Tom Hanks proudly reported to a Los Angeles courthouse to perform his civic duty.

It was a great day for Tom Hanks' fellow jurors, whose boring stint of mandatory jury duty was instantly transformed into a star-spangled Playtone production by the appearance of Tom Hanks. It was a great day for the defendant, a regular California Joe accused of battering a woman, who would win or lose up to one year of his life, dependent upon the whims of Hanks. It was a great day for Tom Hanks, because every day is.

From the get-go, everything was coming up Hanks. TMZ wrote that the actor was spotted in the jury box “assiduously taking notes” and “hanging on every word of witness testimony”—and why wouldn't he? He's a people person and he loves helping out.

Then it all went to hell.

An attorney for the defense told TMZ that during a break for lunch on Monday or Tuesday, someone from the L.A. City Attorney’s Office approached Juror No. 1 Best Juror, Tom Hanks, and thanked him for allowing the blinding truth of his Solomon-esque wisdom to blast through the humble California court system like a righteous cleansing fire. On Wednesday, the prosecutor was forced to disclose to the court that a member of the Attorney’s Office had made inappropriate contact with the actor.

According to TMZ, the defense then "requested a hearing to prove prosecutorial misconduct." Ultimately, a plea deal was cut, and the defendant, who had faced a maximum of one year in prison on charges of domestic violence, instead plead "no contest" to disturbing the peace, and received a $150 fine.

Tom Hanks was free to go.

[Image via Getty]