Inmate Gets Drug Case Hearing, Then Wedding - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Inmate Gets Drug Case Hearing, Then Wedding

Pair exchanged kiss

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    Inmate Gets Drug Case Hearing, Then Wedding
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    Branford man going to jail for crash that killed his half brother.

    The bride wore a gray suit. The groom wore a prison jumpsuit - and handcuffs.

    And the judge was doing double-duty, having just handled proceedings in the groom's drug case.

    Northampton County prison inmate Franklin Barndt and Takesha Piazza were married in a brief ceremony Friday after the man tried to have evidence against him dismissed in an Easton cocaine case.

    Defense attorney Gary Asteak said the couple already had a marriage license but had had no chance to get married, and he hatched the idea after seeing Piazza in the courtroom.

    “It seemed like the right thing to do,” Asteak said. “They wanted to get married; take an opportunity when it arises.”

    Judge Leonard Zito said he had never gotten such a request before, but “we're a full-service court.” He made sure that Barndt agreed that the judge could handle the vows and the criminal matter impartially.

    And when Zito asked whether anyone knew any reason why the marriage shouldn't proceed, the three-year mandatory minimum sentence that Barndt faces if convicted didn't come up.

    “No one said a word,” Asteak said.

    The pair even managed to exchange a kiss over the objections of prosecutor Michele Kluk.

    “I said I didn't want them kissing,” Kluk said. “But, over my objections they allowed it happen.”

    The bride didn't seem to mind the lack of a veil, flowers, cake or even a maid of honor.

    “I am extremely happy,” Piazza said. “It turned out to be the best day of my life. I can't wait for him to come home.”