Judge to Texas Man: Get Married or Go to Jail

PHOTO: Josten and Elizabeth Bundy got married July 20, 2015, in Tyler, Texas.Courtesy Elizabeth Bundy
Josten and Elizabeth Bundy got married July 20, 2015, in Tyler, Texas.

A young East Texas couple celebrated their wedding day earlier than planned -- thanks to a criminal court judge.

Last month, Smith County Judge Randall Roberts ordered Josten Bundy to marry his girlfriend Elizabeth Jaynes as part of his probation for his involvement in a few with her ex-boyfriend, reports ABC affiliate KLTV in Tyler, Texax. Otherwise, Bundy would be sentenced to 15 days in jail.

“[The ex-boyfriend] had been saying disrespectful things about Elizabeth, so I challenged him to a fight,” Bundy, 21, told KLTV about the fight in February. “He stepped in and I felt like it was on and I hit him in the jaw twice.”

According to court transcripts, Roberts asked Bundy at the sentencing hearing if Jaynes was “worth it.”

“You do know one of the provisions to stay on my probation is you’re going to have to marry her?” Roberts later asked Bundy.

Afraid he would lose his job if he was in jail, Bundy and Jaynes set a date and got married at a courthouse. With the short amount of time to plan the wedding, some relatives were unable to attend.

“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,” Jaynes, 19, said. “I would have liked a spring wedding when it’s not too hot and not too cold.”

Jaynes’ father was not happy about the judge’s order.

“[I felt] anger; I was mad,” said Kenneth Jaynes. "[The judge] can’t do this about court ordering somebody to be married."

Blake Bailey, an attorney who practices constitutional law, told KLTV the sentence would likely have been struck down if it was appealed.

Rogers declined a request from KLTV to be interviewed about the case. Calls from The Associated Press to the judge’s court went unanswered Friday.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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