Marriage or jail? It was a bizarre choice, but Josten Bundy was forced to make it by an East Texas judge.
According to KLTV, Bundy ended up in court following a violent February encounter with the ex-boyfriend of Elizabeth Jaynes, his former girlfriend, now wife.
“[He] 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.”
The 21-year-old didn’t seriously injure the ex, but Bundy still found himself facing a misdemeanor charge of assault causing bodily injury. In July, Josten stood before Smith County Judge Randall Roberts, who offered a rather unconventional solution to the problem. Instead of sending Josten Bundy to jail for defending his girlfriend’s honor, the young man could instead opt to marry her.
Instead of spending a couple of weeks in jail, Josten Bundy would be put on probation. To qualify for the alternative to prison, Josten had to write Bible verses, attend counseling — and get hitched. Photos of the impromptu marriage were posted to Facebook and have since gone viral.
— London News Now (@londonnewsnow) August 7, 2015
The couple resented getting forced into marriage. Jaynes confessed she was humiliated, while Roberts explained to Bundy that he would have to marry her within a month.
Elizabeth told KLTV, “My face was so red, people behind me were laughing. [The judge] made me stand up in court.”
Talk about a “blushing” bride!
— ABC News (@abcnews) August 8, 2015
Although the pair isn’t bitter about being married to each other — they admit they wanted to get married at some point in the future — they didn’t appreciate having their hands forced. Josten Bundy was prepared to serve the sentence, saying he’d have called his job to let his employers know he’d be unavailable. But perhaps the chivalry that landed him in hot water is why Bundy decided on marrying his young bride.
Josten Bundy’s father-in-law isn’t too thrilled about the situation, either. Kenneth Jaynes said that he will look into whether or not the judge’s decision qualifies as judicial misconduct.
“I contacted a couple of lawyers, but they told me someone was trying to pull my leg, [and] that judges don’t court order somebody to get married.”
There may be hope for all opposed to this “arranged marriage.” Attorney Blake Bailey told KLTV that “not even the judge is capable of enforcing” an order for two people to marry. The constitutional lawyer insisted that though the marriage was reminiscent of a “shotgun wedding,” the courts simply did not have the authority to threaten a man with jail time if he refused to take a bride.
Whether Josten Bundy will let the marriage stand or seek an annulment isn’t known at present.
[Image Credit: Elizabeth Bundy / Facebook]