Judge allows inmate to marry

FIRST UNSHACKLED, THEN WED

August 28, 1993|By Bill Talbott | Bill Talbott,Staff Writer

A prisoner in Montgomery County, facing a possible 15-year sentence for felony theft, was unshackled and uncuffed by order of Circuit Judge DeLawrence Beard, who allowed him to marry in a civil ceremony in the courthouse yesterday.

The man, Nicholas Stanford Redman, 27, of Columbia was then allowed to change from his prison garb and don a suit and tie before being taken to the ceremonial room to be wed.

His bride, Sharon Louise Gray, 32, also from Columbia, was allowed only one brief kiss with her new husband before he was led away by sheriff's deputies, again in shackles and handcuffs for incarceration.

Judge Beard of the 6th Judicial Circuit, which covers Montgomery and Frederick counties, said Mr. Redman was brought to his courtroom facing a felony charge for a theft over $300.

The judge said, "I gave him three years on his most recent charge, and I signed the order to remove the shackles and cuffs as a humanitarian act.

"The man also faces additional sentences in federal and state prisons and he is to be taken to the federal prison in Lexington, Ky., where they have a drug rehabilitation program."

The couple were married by Geraldine Stark, a clerk of the court, who marries 20 to 25 couples each Thursday and Friday.

She said, "They said nothing in the few minutes they were here before me, except to answer the wedding vows and then a brief kiss."

Mr. Redman was quickly placed back in his restraints and led away by the deputies who were the witnesses at his wedding.

Judge Beard said officers from the Division of Correction were reluctant to remove the shackles and cuffs and allow Mr. Redman to change clothes, because he faces other incarceration, "so I signed an order authorizing it."

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