Runaway Bride Hires Attorney - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/4/05

Runaway Bride Hires Attorney

The woman whose flight from her lavish wedding triggered a massive search has retained an attorney. A former district attorney of the Northeastern Judicial Circuit that includes Hall and Dawson counties will represent Jennifer Wilbanks.

Lydia Sartain says Wilbanks, a Gainesville native, is "deeply regretful'' about the pain she caused her family, fiance, friends and the community.

Sartain issued a statement in which she said she has been retained by Wilbanks and her family. "Jennifer asked that I convey her appreciation o f the many prayers and statements of support she has received from countless individuals. She is deeply regretful about the pain she caused her family, her fiancee, her friends and the community who rallied to her aid.

I believe Jennifer committed no crime. I understand and respect (Gwinnett County) District Attorney Danny Porter and his obligation to investigate this situation thoroughly. Jennifer hopes this experience will help her grow and heal and perhaps help others in similar circumstances.

I look forward to working with her and her family." A spokesman for Lakewood Baptist Church in Gainesville where Wilbanks has been undergoing counseling has said she likely will issue a statement this week. Sartain was the solicitor of Hall County State Court from 1987 to 1991. From 1993 to 2002, she was the district attorney. In 2002, she was named a partner in the litigation division of Stewart Melvin and Frost in Gainesville.

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