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February 15, 2008

Sentencing, a love story

505805_1 Who says sentencings cannot be romantic?  As highlighted by this local story, headlined "First the Wedding, Then Years in Prison," at least one lucky couple was able to arrange for both a sentencing and a wedding to fall on Valentine's Day:

A bittersweet story of love and the law developed Thursday when Cupid made a St. Valentine’s Day visit to an Ohio County courtroom. Circuit Judge James Mazzone officiated at the wedding of Misty Johnson and Kevin Felder just moments after Mazzone sentenced Felder to five to 18 years in prison for robbery.

Asked to comment on the unfortunate circumstances surround the marriage, Felder said, “It is a decision between the two of us. I am sorry for what I did, and I want to be a better man when I come home.” After saying goodbye to her new husband as he was escorted from the courtroom, the bride tearfully offered her assessment of the situation. “I love him that much,” she said. “That’s all I can say.”

Felder, dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit rather than a tuxedo, asked Mazzone if he could have his handcuffs removed during the wedding ceremony.  The judge declined. “I’m sorry, but I can’t allow that,” Mazzone said. “You are in custody.” Felder was escorted out of the courtroom moments after the couple exchanged wedding vows.

During the criminal hearing, Felder pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree robbery. Assistant Ohio County Prosecutor Steven Vogrin said Felder robbed the Wheeling Island Convenient store on Sept. 5.... During the sentencing phase of the hearing, Vogrin said Felder committed the robbery while he was on probation for a July 20 domestic violence offense involving Johnson, his then-girlfriend.  Vogrin said as part of the plea agreement, the state would not seek recidivist status against Felder, who has two previous felony convictions and could have been facing life in prison.

February 15, 2008 at 07:52 AM | Permalink


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Ohio doesn't have Circuit courts. Neither is there an "Ohio" county.

Posted by: christopher pagan | Feb 15, 2008 10:13:30 AM

As appearing in a West Virginia paper - about an Ohio County.

Posted by: beth curtis | Feb 15, 2008 12:54:16 PM

Ohio County is in the Northern Panhandle, squeezed in betwixt Ohio and Pennsylvania. Circuit courts are the trial level courts of record in WV.

A sentencing tidbit - in WV, you have a right to a jury determination of your recidivist status if the state seeks the life-in-prison sentence mentioned in the article.

Posted by: JDB | Feb 15, 2008 1:32:08 PM

Good work JBD

Posted by: beth curtis | Feb 15, 2008 3:35:08 PM

Well, they won't be able to consummate the marriage for a while (at least until he's released or eligible for conjugal visits, if they have them there). So she can get an easy annulment when she comes to her senses in a week when the "bad boy" mystique wears off. But they probably won't make that fact into a newspaper article, because it's not as exciting or wierd.

Posted by: bruce | Feb 16, 2008 10:59:58 PM

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