View Full Version : Groom Still Wants to Marry Run-Away Bride

Midnight Mike
05-02-2005, 11:24 PM
The jilted groom whose bride-to-be ran away four days before their wedding still wants to marry fiancee Jennifer Wilbanks, saying, "Haven't we all made mistakes?"

"Just because we haven't walked down the aisle, just because we haven't stood in front of 500 people and said our I Do's, my commitment before God to her was the day I bought that ring and put it on her finger, and I'm not backing down from that," John Mason said Monday in an interview with Fox News' "Hannity & Colmes" show.

It was Mason's first public statement since he learned on the morning of his scheduled wedding day that Wilbanks had gotten cold feet.

At an evening press conference Monday, Duluth Police Chief Randy Belcher provided a chronology for Wilbanks' disappearance. He said Wilbanks bought a Greyhound bus ticket to Austin, Texas, a week before running away April 26. That day, she had a taxi pick her up at the local library and take her to the bus terminal in Atlanta.

She never made it to Austin, instead getting off in Dallas and buying a ticket to Las Vegas. She spent some time in Vegas, mostly hanging out at the bus station, before going to Albuquerque, N.M., authorities said.

It was in Albuquerque that she called Mason and police from a pay phone at a 7-Eleven, saying she had been kidnapped. She later said it simply was a case of having jitters ahead of the lavish, 600-guest wedding planned for Saturday.

Mason said he has given the 32-year-old Wilbanks her ring back she had left it at the house and said they still planned to marry. Wilbanks was wearing the ring during questioning Monday, authorities said.

"Some things need to happen first, and we need to talk about a few things and ... she needs some treatment, for lack of a better word," he said.

Mason and his fiancee's father, Harris Wilbanks, who also appeared on the show, said Jennifer Wilbanks is working on releasing a written statement.

"She just needs some space and some time," Mason said. "She just wants the whole world to know she's very, very sorry."

But if Mason and the family are ready to forgive the jittery bride, authorities are still peeved.

Authorities said they are looking into the possibility of suing Wilbanks for the estimated $40,000 to $60,000 cost of searching for her. That option would have to be approved by the city council. The groom's father, Claude Mason, is a former mayor of Duluth and a local judge.

"We feel a tad betrayed and some are very hurt about it," Mayor Shirley Lasseter said.

She added that they want to hear from Wilbanks' family, to see if perhaps there was a good reason for the woman's disappearance. "I would love to hear from the family and know there might have been a problem and know we should work with this lady on some recourse other than legally."

The local prosecutor said Monday he will conduct a thorough investigation, which could take weeks, before deciding whether to charge Wilbanks for falsely claiming she had been kidnapped.

District Attorney Danny Porter said Wilbanks could face a misdemeanor charge of false report of a crime or a felony charge of false statements. The misdemeanor carries a penalty of up to a year in jail; five years in prison is the maximum sentence for the felony.

Carter Brank, an agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, said Wilbanks "didn't come right out and apologize" when he interviewed her.

"She was somewhat remorseful for what she had done," he said. "She cried a little bit, showed some emotion."

Wilbanks' father said his daughter claims she did not know about all the media attention surrounding her disappearance. He said she did not see a television during her trip and only once read a newspaper, but it made no mention of her.

Mason appealed to the prosecutor not to bring charges.

"Her cutting her hair and getting on a bus and riding out of here ain't none of (prosecutor) Danny Porter's business," Mason said. "And that's not criminal as far as I'm concerned."

05-02-2005, 11:39 PM
I think her getting on a bus is not a direct crime. It's teh circumstances that led to the police search, which caused the money spent that they want to sue her for. I don't think think that she should be liable for that, regardless of how dumb she is.

I can't know fully what is going on in this guy's head, but it would be hard for me to want to stay with her. That's quite a betraying thing to do, right up there with cheating. Cheating is something I'd have no tolerance for.

Matt Molnar
05-03-2005, 05:52 PM
Hmm, she proved herself to be the bug-eyed psycho h0re that she looks like, and her family flat out told everyone the fiance murdered her. Should be fun times at those holiday gatherings. :mrgreen:

05-03-2005, 08:59 PM
I'd kill her. Hell the family would already think I did.

05-03-2005, 11:47 PM

I like the way you think! This guy is an idiot if he still wants to marry this woman. She has some serious mental issues. The fact that she cut her hair to change her appearence is unsettling. Oh well, this took place in the south. Not a surprise! Those people are ass backwards.

05-04-2005, 07:02 PM
Maybe they're related in some way???? lol since they are from the south

05-04-2005, 07:18 PM
Maybe they're related in some way???? lol since they are from the south

You said it all!!! No need for further explanation its the south. God just think of that wedding, there was suppose to be 600 people. That's just way to many hicks saying "how Ya'all doing".