Adams County jail plays host to wedding celebrations

Published 1:50 am Sunday, July 8, 2007

Violet Thomas, 23, has dedicated the rest of her life to being with the man she loves.

But being with him is not something that will happen anytime soon.

Her husband Jameson Rogers, 26, won’t carry her over the threshold, set up house or hold her close at night until a judge says it’s OK.

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Rogers was arrested on charges of possession and sale of drugs and is awaiting a decision from a grand jury. If he’s indicted, he’ll have to go through a trial.

“It could be eight or nine months before he gets (a verdict),” Jail Administrator Maj. Charles Harrigill said. “If he’s found guilty, he could get years.”

That possibility doesn’t faze the couple that tied the knot on the stairs of the Adams County Jail recently.

“Our relationship is going to be good whether I’m locked up or not,” Rogers said.

The two met five years ago and have been friends since then, Rogers said.

“We sat down and talked and got to know each other,” he said.

Romance blossomed, and several weeks ago, the couple decided to get married. On the day of the wedding, they waited with quiet enthusiasm in the jail’s lobby for family to arrive.

“We love each other,” Thomas said, smiling.

She turned to Rogers, handing him a plain gold wedding band.

“Here, try this on,” Thomas said.

Rogers reached to take it. But a reminder of reality crashed down on the sweet scene again.

“He can’t wear that,” the jailer standing nearby said. “Inmates are not allowed anything metal. It’ll have to be put in with his property.”

Rogers dropped his hand, disappointed.

The Adams County Jail lobby plays host to about six or seven weddings a year, Harrigill said. When inmates ask to marry someone, they are allowed to have a preacher perform the ceremony.

Most ceremonies don’t include more than a handful of guests. The cramped lobby isn’t an ideal place for weddings.

“This place wasn’t built with church services in mind,” Harrigill said.

Rogers, dressed in the required orange and white stripes, and Thomas, in a white blouse, thought bigger than the lobby, though.

“Can we do it outside?” Thomas asked.

Harrigill agreed, and, under his watchful eye, the two walked out onto the jail’s covered porch, followed by family.

Family members and friends crowded under the roof, and the pastor tried to stay out of the drizzle. The group arranged itself for the ceremony.

Thomas beamed as she and Rogers exchanged vows to love, honor and cherish each other for the rest of their lives.

The two exchanged rings, kissed gently and were declared man and wife to enthusiastic applause.

They were then ushered back inside the jail. The new Mrs. Jameson Rogers came out alone.