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Texas Couple Married In Jail Chapel

The Fannin County jail chapel played host to the wedding ceremony of Keisha Houser and Cody Herndon on Oct. 11.

Bonham, TX – A Texas bride refused to let going to jail stop her from getting married to the love of her life as planned.

Bride Keisha Houser met her groom, Cody Herndon, when she was working as a bank teller, KXII reported.

“It was love at first sight,” Herndon said. “I love that girl.”

Eight months after they met, he proposed to Houser and they started planning a wedding for Oct. 5, KXII reported.

Houser was on parole when Herndon proposed to her.

Her legal issues began in 2008 with a string of felony drug convictions, according to KXII.

Houser was sentenced to prison, served time, and was released on parole.

But after she and Herndon were engaged to be married, she missed some of her court dates and a warrant for her arrest was issued, KXII reported.

Houser remained on the lam until police scooped her up in September when they went to her home looking for one of her family members who had been caught selling drugs on her property.

She and the wanted family member were both arrested less than a month before her already-planned wedding to Herndon, KXII reported.

Houser is being held on a $160,000 bail and is facing years in prison if convicted.

“It’s been a nightmare. It’s definitely been a nightmare,” the groom told KXII.

The couple had already gotten their marriage license, so instead of giving up their plans, they asked Fannin County Sheriff Mark Johnson for permission to get married in the chapel at the Fannin County jail.

Not only did Sheriff Johnson agree to permit the nuptials, he even attended their Oct. 11 wedding, KXII reported.

Fannin County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Frank Deater said decisions on whether to allow marriages in the jail are made case-by-case.

Lt. Deater said that Houser was not accused of any violent crimes so the there was no reason not to allow it, according to KXII.

“These people are still human, they still have emotions, they still have feelings and situations,” the lieutenant said.

Houser was allowed to wear her wedding gown and Herndon’s best man was in attendance, but there are no pictures to prove it because cameras and cell phones are considered contraband inside the facility.

Herndon said he had butterflies before the jail’s chaplain married them.

“It wasn’t the ideal place by no means or the ideal circumstances, but thank God it was able to happen,” he told KXII. “I guess it will be a fun story to tell our grandkids one day, we got married in the jail.”

But not everyone thought the couple’s story was romantic or appropriate.

“I think that whenever you’re in jail, you shouldn’t be given the right to have a wedding until at least you’re sentenced or released and sent wherever,” a jail employee told KXII.

Tom Gantert - October Fri, 2019

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