An East Texas judge ordered a couple to get married and recite Bible verses. Josten Bundy was ordered by Judge Randall Rogers to marry his 19-year-old girlfriend in 30 days.
Bundy was in court facing a misdemeanor charge stemming from a fight he got into with the ex-boyfriend of his girlfriend, Elizabeth Jaynes. With Elizabeth by his side, the judge asked Bundy if “she was worth it” and then put him on probation with bizarre stipulations, KLTV reports.
“[The ex-boyfriend] had been saying disrespectful things about Elizabeth, so I challenged him to a fight,” said Bundy. “He stepped in and I felt like it was on and I hit him in the jaw twice.”
Bundy said that even though the ex-boyfriend did not require medical attention, he pressed assault charges.
“I took matters into my own hands and I know that’s wrong,” Bundy said. “I know I was raised better, but it happened.”
Judge Randall Rogers asked Bundy about the fight.
“Is she worth it?” Judge Rogers asked Bundy.
“I said, well to be honest, sir, I was raised with four sisters and if any man was talking to a woman like that,” Bundy said, “I’d probably do the same thing.”
Judge Rogers then told Bundy, “You know, as a part of my probation, you’re going to have to marry her…within 30 days.”
It was that or be sentenced to 15 days in jail.
“He offered me fifteen days in jail and that would have been fine and I asked if I could call my job [to let them know],” said Bundy. “The judge told me ‘nope, that’s not how this works.’”
Jaynes, who was in the courtroom with her boyfriend, said the proposal from the judge embarrassed her.
Watch courtesy of KLTV:
KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News “My face was so red, people behind me were laughing,” said Jaynes. “[The judge] made me stand up in court.” Bundy was in fear of losing his job if he spent two weeks behind bars, so the couple had a courthouse wedding. “My father didn’t get to go, and that really bothers me, I know he would have liked to be there,” said Bundy. “None of my sisters got to show up, it was such short notice, I couldn’t get it together.”
“[I felt] anger; I was mad. [The judge] can’t do this by court ordering somebody to be married,” said Kenneth Jaynes, the father of the bride. “I contacted a couple of lawyers but they told me someone was trying to pull my leg…that judges don’t court order somebody to get married.”
The couple said they don’t regret their marriage but they had questions.
“What if we [had said to the judge] we don’t want to get married right now and we’re not ready?” said Jaynes. “Is he going to go to jail? It scared us, a little bit.”
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