An east Texas man has been ordered by a judge to marry his girlfriend and copy Bible verses or else face 15 days in jail, ABC News is reporting.
The judge’s bizarre order came down in July but is only now gaining attention in the national media.
Twenty-one-year-old Josten Bundy’s troubles began, as these things often do, over a girl. It seems that Bundy didn’t care for some of the things Elizabeth Jaynes’ ex-boyfriend was saying about her.
“[The ex-boyfriend] had been saying disrespectful things about Elizabeth, so I challenged him to a fight. He stepped in and I felt like it was on and I hit him in the jaw twice.”
Noble as the man’s actions might have been, the criminal courts take a dim view of that ind of “justice,” and Bundy wound up before a judge facing assault charges. The judge asked Bundy if the girl was “worth it,” according to KLTV (Tyler, Texas).
“I said, ‘well to be honest, sir, I was raised with four sisters and if any man was talking to a woman like that, I’d probably do the same thing.'”
Judge Randall Rogers then issued a legal ruling that can most charitably be described as “unusual.” Marry the girl.
“You know, as a part of my probation, you’re going to have to marry her…within 30 days.”
Other terms of the man’s probation order included getting counseling and copying down Bible verses (seriously). Or else he could face 15 days in the clink.
Fearing that he’d lose his job if he had to miss two weeks of work for a stint in the pen, Bundy and his girlfriend agreed to the order and went to another room in the courthouse to apply for a marriage license on the spot.
The girl at the center of the controversy, Elizabeth Jaynes, was not at all amused at the judge’s order.
“My face was so red, people behind me were laughing. [The judge] made me stand up in court.”
For Elizabeth, the almost-literal shotgun wedding meant that she and Bundy wouldn’t get the wedding they were planning for.
“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. 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.”
Do you think that a man being ordered by a judge to marry his girlfriend is a fair punishment?
[Image courtesy of: Getty Images/Andrey_Popov]