(Updated 12/7/06 6:45 a.m.) This is actually a follow up post to Dave’s excellent post over at Bloggernacle Times here. Today, the bride and BYU Student Julianna Myers testified in a preliminary hearing against both her biological parents, Julia Redd, 58, and Lemuel Hardison Redd, 61, of Monticello, UT. The Salt Lake Tribune reported on the preliminary hearing:
A woman allegedly kidnapped by her parents on the eve of her wedding testified Wednesday they believed her fiance was “evil and abusive” for buying her a gold band instead of a diamond ring.
BYU student Julianna Myers told 4th District Judge James Taylor that on Aug. 4, her parents picked her up at her Provo condo on the pretext of driving to Orem to buy religious garments for her Aug. 5 wedding ceremony.
But her father turned the van south on Interstate 15, instead of north. When Myers asked what was going on, she testified, her mother turned to her and said: “What is the 4th [sic] Commandment?”
At a rest stop, instead of running away, or calling the police, or shouting to the world—hey I’m being kidnapped, Ms. Myers apparently testifed:
At a Salina rest stop, Julianna Myers refused to get back in the van, but said she relented after her parents pulled on her wrists and hair. They stayed the night in Grand Junction, Colo., but returned to Provo the next day after Myers promised to have no contact with her fiancé. She testified she made that promise even though she knew her fiance would be looking for her and would find her.
There was no testimony about a gun, or knife, or other weapon of any kind used in this alleged kidnapping. One has to wonder how much kidnapping was actually going on here. From the photograph above, it appears Ms. Myers is a healthy young woman, quite capable of taking care of herself if she needed to in a true emergency situation.
This BYU Newsnet article quoted Ms. Myers:
“I’m not angry, and I don’t want revenge,” Myers said. “The state is pushing the charges. No one wants to see their parents go to jail. But there’s right and wrong, they have to pay for what was done.”
Myers said she wants nothing to do with the case. “[It] is between the state and my parents.”
Myers is currently not speaking to her parents.
“I did get a letter from my mom, condemning my marriage,” Myers said. “I’m not communicating with them until they have a change of heart and stop trying to destroy my family.”
So, she doesn’t want revenge or doesn’t want her parents to go to jail. Yet, she testified under oath today at the preliminary hearing, where the judge (based on that very testimony) bound her parents over for trial on charges that could land them at Point of the Mountain for up to 15 years. Ms. Myers has no credibility here. The “state” could not even begin to proceed to a preliminary hearing if she didn’t willingly agree to testify against her parents. She claims that she wants nothing to do with the case. Yet, she testified at today’s preliminary hearing. The “state” can’t force her to testify. This is not between the state and her parents. Make no mistake–this is very much between Ms. Myers and her parents.
I think this is an incredibly tragic story that has torn this family apart. There clearly are issues that need to be addressed. I think they are best address in the context of professional counseling, and not withing the confines of Utah’s criminal justice system. For the AP’s story which is being carried by papers all over the world now check out the Guardian’s story here.
KUTV (with Video–in which she comes across very glib)
ABC 4 (with more video this time with the parents)