Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Judge's Actions Questioned Couple with History of Domestic Disputes Got Married at His Suggestion, Then Wife Was Arrested on New Charges

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Judge's Actions Questioned Couple with History of Domestic Disputes Got Married at His Suggestion, Then Wife Was Arrested on New Charges

Article excerpt

When Common Pleas Judge Joseph K. Williams III suggested to a defendant before him on domestic violence charges that getting married might help her with her legal troubles, he likely didn't expect her to be arrested again on similar allegations.

But Quenesia Castaphany, who returned to the judge's courtroom to be married three days after she pleaded to charges of reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct, was arrested on Tuesday on new charges that she assaulted her husband and endangered two of their young children by discharging a fire extinguisher in their Duquesne home.

Ms. Castaphany, 27, was released on $15,000 bond on charges including multiple counts of harassment, recklessly endangering another person and simple assault.

At her original hearing before Judge Williams on March 18, Ms. Castaphany admitted to pouring lighter fluid on her boyfriend's clothes and threatening to set them and him on fire. Her actions, defense attorney Tricia Henning said, were driven by the belief that the man, Andre White, was cheating on her.

Ms. Castaphany explained to the court that the couple had three children together and were expecting their fourth.

"Why won't he marry you?" Judge Williams asked. "He keeps you pregnant."

Then the judge called Mr. White to the front of the courtroom.

"How long have you been with Quenesia?" he asked.

Eight years, Mr. White responded.

"Why won't you marry her?" Judge Williams asked.

"I love her."

"So if you love someone, you don't marry her?" the judge continued. "Your lives are inextricably intertwined, but she is getting in trouble over your lifestyle, and now she is getting whacky because she thinks that you are not committed to her because - she probably has a good reason."

"[I]t is really her being insecure about being 27 and having done probably what her parents didn't want her to do by taking the road she has taken. ... Why wouldn't you add some stability to her life?"

"I have been trying to," Mr. White answered.

"It is real easy. Do you want me to marry you? Get a license," Judge Williams said.

"Let's do it," Mr. White responded. …

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