Josten Bundy, 20, worried about losing his job if he spent 15 days in jail, chose to accept the sentence of marrying his 19-year-old girlfriend Elizabeth Jaynes, along with copying Bible verses and attending counseling.
The unusual sentence by Judge Randall Rogers of Smith County, Texas was the result of a court case from February over when Bundy punched Jaynes’ ex-boyfriend twice in the jaw for being insulting to Jaynes.
During the sentencing, Judge Rogers asked Bundy, “is she worth it?”
“I said, well to be honest, sir, I was raised with four sisters and if any man was talking to a woman like that,” Bundy told KLTV News, “I’d probably do the same thing.”
The couple had only met six months prior to the court sentencing. They did intend to get married but not under the pressure of a court order that gave them just 30 days to do so, as a condition of Bundy’s probation. They applied for a marriage license and scheduled a date with the justice of the peace.
“It just felt like we weren’t going to be able to have the wedding we wanted,” Jaynes told KLTV. “It was just going to be kind of pieced together, I didn’t even have a white dress.”
Most of the bride and groom’s family members were unable to attend because of the short notice.
In a related story about strange rulings, a Michigan judge jailed children for refusing to see their father.
The sentence was handed down in July during a divorce dispute, when three children were jailed for contempt of court after refusing a Michigan judge’s order to have a relationship with their father.
Court records showed that the judge told one of the children, 14-year-old Liam Tsimhoni, that it was not normal behavior and the children had been brainwashed.
“I do apologize if I didn’t understand the rules,” the boy said at the hearing, “but I do not apologize for not talking to (the father) because I have a reason for that, and that’s because he’s violent and I saw him hit my mom, and I’m not going to talk to him.”
The children, ages nine, 10 and 14, were locked up for about two weeks.
Eventually, Oakland County Family Court Judge Lisa Gorcyca released the children from the county juvenile detention facility and sent them to a summer camp.