Judge's Odd Sentence: Get Married or Go To Jail

Young couple in Texas choose to get married
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 7, 2015 7:04 PM CDT
Judge's Odd Sentence: Get Married or Go To Jail

An East Texas man who pleaded guilty to assaulting his girlfriend's ex-boyfriend has been sentenced to life—in matrimony. Josten Bundy, 21, pleaded guilty on July 2 to assault for a February fistfight with the ex-boyfriend of Elizabeth Jaynes, 19, reports KLTV. Bundy told the Tyler television station that the ex was "saying disrespectful things" about Jaynes and admitted he eventually punched the ex in the jaw. At the sentencing hearing, Smith County Court-at-Law Judge Randall Rogers asked Bundy whether Jaynes was "worth it" and whether the couple were married, according to transcripts obtained by KLTV. Then, the judge said, "You know, as a part of my probation, you're going to have to marry her ... within 30 days." Otherwise, he would send Bundy to jail for 15 days.

"He offered me 15 days in jail, and that would have been fine. And I asked if I could call my job (to inform his employer of his pending absence). The judge told me, 'Nope. That's not how this works,'" Bundy said. Fearful he'd lose his job, the couple then made a date with the justice of the peace and got married. They said they'd been talking about it anyway, but not everybody is happy. "I contacted a couple of lawyers, but they told me someone was trying to pull my leg," says the father of the bride, "that judges don't court-order somebody to get married." (More strange stuff stories.)

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