Judge Hands Man 53-Year Sentence, Officiates His Wedding
On September 17th, San Diego Superior Court Judge Patricia Cookson sentenced Danne Desbrow, 36, to 53 years in prison, shortly before marrying him to high school sweetheart Destiny Winters, 33.
Desbrow had been convicted of murdering Kevin Santos in Lemon Grove, a decade earlier. Desbrow had lost contact with Winters soon after getting her pregnant when she was 16, but with the help of social media, Winters was able to locate her old flame, and visited him many times in jail, as he’d awaited trial.
Desbrow romantically asked for Winters’ hand during the court proceedings, and to Winters’ delight, Judge Cookson agreed to preside over the ceremony during the sentencing hearing – and even baked a cake. Attorney Steve Cline was a bit flabbergasted, and stated, “I didn’t know it was going to happen. Obviously, it was an unusual day from start to finish. I mean, I appreciate that she honored the request for them to marry. But, I’ve never seen anything like that.”
The families of Winters and Desbrow watched, as the couple exchanged a lingering kiss, just before Judge Cookson went into her chambers to grab two pieces of vanilla Bundt cake and some plastic forks. Soon after, law enforcement official dragged a shackled Desbrow out of the courtroom. Desbrow plans to appeal the conviction next month.
The 2003 murder of Kevin Santos went unsolved, until a witness came forward with new information which implicated Desbrow. Attorney Cline had argued that Desbrow had been acting in self-defense.
The Santos family wasn’t too happy about the court proceedings. April Santos, sister of the murder victim, stated, “I’m hurt. I just don’t know why a judge would do that. I’m lost for words. It’s not humanly possible for you to grant that to somebody, to a murderer.” Attorney Cline thinks that Cookson performed the wedding because it might help his client out, who has a history of violence, during his long stint – “These small things can have a lasting impact down the road,” said Cline.
Also, our government is hosting a government shutdown at present.
Image via Facebook/Destiny Winters.