Couple marries in Texas county jail

Published: Oct. 16, 2019 at 9:59 AM CDT
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They say love knows no boundaries, and for one Fannin County couple that was put to the test when they asked the sheriff if they could have their wedding in jail.

The bride is an inmate waiting to go before a judge and facing years in prison.

Lt. Frank Deater with the Fannin County Sheriff's Office said decisions like this are made case by case, and since the bride is accused of a non-violent crime, they said, "why not."

"It was love at first sight. I love that girl," said groom Cody Herndon.

Cody Herndon met Keisha Houser at the bank.

She was a teller and he'd see her through the window.

They ended up dating and he proposed eight months later.

"I love her that's for sure," Herndon said.

During that time, Houser was on parole.

Her trouble started back in 2008 with a series of felony drug convictions, followed by a stint in prison and then parole.

But recently, she missed some court dates and had an outstanding warrant about two months ago.

That's when deputies came to her home to arrest a family member who was caught dealing drugs on her property.

She and the family member were arrested just a month or so before she was set to tie the knot.

"It's been a nightmare. It's definitely been a nightmare," Herndon said.

Herndon and Houser's wedding date was set for Oct. 5, and they already had their license.

She asked for permission to have their wedding inside the jail.

Fannin County Sheriff Mark Johnson said yes; in fact he even attended the ceremony.

"It wouldn't the ideal place by no means or the ideal circumstances, but thank God it was able to happen," Herndon said.

So Friday morning, she walked down the aisle of the jail chapel in her wedding dress and they said their vows in front of the jail chaplain.

Herndon even got to have his best man, but there aren’t any pictures because phones and cameras are considered contraband.

"I got butterflies. You know," Herndon said.

"These people are still human, they still have emotions, they still have feelings and situations," Lt. Deater said.

An employee at the jail wanted to be anonymous for fear of their job, but thinks it wasn't fair.

"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," the jailer said.

Herndon said he's ready for them to move on, but is grateful.

"I guess it will be a fun story to tell our grandkids one day, we got married in the jail," Herndon said.

Lt. Deater said this is the first time anyone can remember a wedding at the jail.

Houser is still in jail in lieu of $160,000 bond.

She had her first court appearance Tuesday.