Judge who sentenced man to marry his girlfriend recuses himself from case

Published: Aug. 19, 2015 at 5:40 PM CDT
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Josten Bundy and Elizabeth Jaynes. (Source: KLTV staff)
Josten Bundy and Elizabeth Jaynes. (Source: KLTV staff)

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A judge has recused himself from an East Texas case that has gathered international attention.

Judge Randall Rogers presided over Josten Bundy's misdemeanor assault case and at a July 2 hearing, according to court transcripts. Rogers gave Bundy a choice between probation or spending 15 days in jail. The probation required that Bundy marry his girlfriend, Elizabeth Jaynes, within 30 days.

On Tuesday, Bundy's case was transferred to a new judge after Rogers filed an order of recusal.

In the order, filed Aug. 18, Rogers cites Bundy's travel plans as a reason for the recusal, saying:

"On the grounds that this defendant has been involved in the news media within the last seven days heavily critical of the trial judge, and the court's Probation Officer has advised the court that the defendant is going to be filing a request for permission to travel; therefore in order to avoid any interference of impropriety the trial judge hereby recuses itself from hearing any aspect of the case and the probation of the defendant."

Read More: Judge sentences East Texas man to get married or face jail time

Bundy's court-monitored probation period lasts two years, according to court records.  On Tuesday, the Smith County clerk's office confirmed that the case is in the process of being transferred away from Rogers. Bundy said as part of his probation he is required to pay a monthly fine and he is restricted from entering any place that sells alcohol.

Rogers has declined multiple requests by the media for a comment on this case.

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