BELLEVILLE, Ill. --With help from a judge, David Kite got five years in prison and a life partner. After sentencing Kite on Wednesday to prison for stealing a lawnmower from a home, St. Clair County Circuit Judge John Baricevic obliged the 23-year-old man's request and married him to girlfriend Victoria Smith in the same courtroom.
The groom sported an orange jumpsuit, shackles and handcuffs during the five-minute civil ceremony; the bride had on a T-shirt and sweat pants.
A day later, Baricevic described the short ceremony as polite, with no visible grudge toward him by the lovestruck man he'd just punished with prison.
Kite had just pleaded guilty to a felony theft count and was ordered imprisoned when Kite asked for a furlough to marry Smith, promising to surrender to begin serving his sentence afterward. A prosecutor objected, and Baricevic denied the request.
"Usually to grant a furlough, it has to be an emergency situation. I didn't think marriage was," the judge said.
Moments later, Kite and Smith said they wanted to get married immediately.
So with Kite in a holdover cell, Smith hustled to the county clerk's office and filled out a marriage license the clerk brought over for Kite to sign.