Judge Gives Defendant a Choice In Sentencing

A Texas judge doled out creative punishment when he told defendant Josten Bundy, 21, that he can choose to go to jail for 15 days or marry his 19-year-old girlfriend Elizabeth (Hannah) Jaynes. Bundy is in court for a minor assault case. Bundy said “I just wonder what would have happened if Hannah said no, had we said, ‘you know judge, we would like to get married on our own terms.'"

Jaynes said “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 had belted his girlfriend's ex in the jaw. He said Jaynes' former boyfriend made disparaging remarks about Jaynes. Smith County Court Judge Randall Rogers asked the young man if she was worth fighting for. Bundy said yes. A court transcript shows Rogers then offered to sentence Bundy to probation which would include marrying Jaynes within 30 days, attending counseling and writing bible verses. Otherwise he would sentence him to 15 days in jail.

The couple got married 18 days after the sentencing. The bride's father said “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."

Photo: New York Daily News

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