A Texas judge is under fire after he issued a 20-year-old man an unusual sentence — get married or go to jail. This was the bizarre choice that a Smith County judge gave to Josten Bundy, a KLTV report revealed.
Judge Randall Rogers told Josten Bundy that he could either get married to his 19-year-old girlfriend, Elizabeth Jaynes, as part of his probation, which also included writing Bible verses and getting counseling, or spend 15 days in jail.
Speaking with the local news station, Bundy gave the following statement regarding this strange case.
“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. The judge told me ‘nope, that’s not how this works.'”
This unusual case occurred in Smith County, which is about 100 miles from Dallas, Texas. Josten Bundy was arrested in February for assaulting the ex-boyfriend of Elizabeth Jaynes.
“The ex-boyfriend had been saying disrespectful things about Elizabeth, so I challenged him to a fight,” Bundy explained. “He stepped in and I felt like it was on and I hit him in the jaw twice.”
According to the local television station, Bundy was sorry for what he did and he stated that he was “raised better” than that.
Given this explanation, the judge asked, “Is she worth it?,” to which Bundy replied:”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.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, faced with the possibility of losing his job, Bundy reluctantly agreed to marry his girlfriend. Shortly after the ruling, the couple applied for a marriage license and were married by a justice of the peace, the report states.
Many were outraged at the judge’s bizarre ruling and one such person was Kenneth Jaynes, the father of the bride.
“I felt anger, I was mad. The judge can’t do this by court ordering somebody to be married,” Kenneth Jaynes expressed. “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 family attorney, Blake Bailey, explained that the ruling could be overturned by a higher court if it is found that the judge’s decision was not legal.
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