The Marryin’ Judge: Judge Rogers declined to interview about an open probation case. He also declined to comment generally about his sentencing practice.
Julia Jenaé reports: An East Texas couple says their choice to marry when they wanted to was taken away by a criminal court judge.
In July, a Smith County judge sentenced Josten Bundy to get married to his 19-year-old girlfriend as part of his probation, which also included writing Bible verses and getting counseling.
“You know, as a part of my probation, you’re going to have to marry her…within 30 days.”
The court case stemmed from a February altercation between Bundy and the ex-boyfriend of his girlfriend, Elizabeth Jaynes.
“[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.”
“It just felt like we weren’t going to be able to have the wedding we wanted. It was just going to be kind of pieced together, I didn’t even have a white dress.”
Bundy said the ex-boyfriend did not require medical attention, but 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.”
At his sentencing hearing, Judge Randall Rogers asked Bundy about the fight.
“Is she worth it?” Judge Rogers asked Bundy, according to court transcripts.
“I said, well to be honest, sir, I was raised with four sisters and if any man was talking to a woman like that,” recalled Bundy, “I’d probably do the same thing.”
Judge Rogers asked Bundy if he was married to Jaynes and then said, “You know, as a part of my probation, you’re going to have to marry her…within 30 days.”
If Bundy declined to do the probation, he would be sentenced to 15 days in jail.
“My father didn’t get to go, and that really bothers me, I know he would have liked to be there. None of my sisters got to show up, it was such short notice, I couldn’t get it together.”
“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 said the proposal from the judge embarrassed her.
“My face was so red, people behind me were laughing,” said Jaynes. “[The judge] made me stand up in court.”
“I used to watch ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ and all those shows and all the dresses and think about what kind of dress I would have. I would have liked a spring wedding when it’s not too hot and not too cold.”
Afraid of Bundy losing his job if he spent two weeks behind bars, the couple applied for their marriage license and scheduled a date with the justice of the peace to get married.
“It just felt like we weren’t going to be able to have the wedding we wanted,” said Jaynes. “It was just going to be kind of pieced together, I didn’t even have a white dress.”
The pair said a summer courthouse wedding was nothing like what they pictured when they imagined their future nuptials while they were dating.
“I used to watch Say Yes to the Dress and all those shows and all the dresses and think about what kind of dress I would have,” said Jaynes. “I would have liked a spring wedding when it’s not too hot and not too cold.”
Bundy said they talked about getting married just six months after they started dating. Read the rest of this entry »
Man airlifted to a nearby hospital, jaw wired shut
DALLAS (Reuters) – Lisa Maria Garza reports: An East Texas man was wounded after he fired a gun at an armadillo in his yard and the bullet ricocheted back to hit him in his face, the county sheriff said on Friday.
Cass County Sheriff Larry Rowe said the man, who was not identified, went outside his home in Marietta, southwest of Texarkana, at around 3 a.m. on Thursday morning. He spotted the armadillo on his property and opened fire.
“We didn’t find the armadillo.”
— Cass County Sheriff Larry Rowe
“His wife was in the house. He went outside and took his .38 revolver and shot three times at the armadillo,” Rowe said.
The animal’s hard shell deflected at least one of three bullets, which then struck the man’s jaw, he said. Read the rest of this entry »