My girlfriend and I had been dating for over 8 1/2 years when I finally decided it was time to make the big commitment. I had been working for about a year at the District Attorney’s office as a prosecutor.
I told Wendy that the judge I’m assigned to was having a reception on Friday afternoon to kick off her campaign (a little white lie). Wendy waited in my office, while all of our family, friends and curious co-workers sneaked up the back entrance to the courtroom.
March 3rd, 2000 was the day I decided to pop the question”. I had the bailiff come down to my office with me and we escorted Wendy up through the prisoner’s elevator to the 8th floor where the courtroom and Judge’s cambers are located. Wendy seemed oblivious to what was ahead and was enjoying the “tour” of the prisoner holding cells. As we reached the 8th floor I told Wendy wait in the Judge’s chambers because court was still in session and that I would come and get her soon. I entered the courtroom to see our families packed in the jury box and at least 50 more people in the audience. The judge and her staff even called a local television station to come out and film the event. A good friend of mine was even so gracious as to purchase a bouquet of flowers and a cake for a “mini reception”. Well, it was time! The bailiff escorted Wendy into the courtroom. The Judge called the case of Batek vs. Russell and I said, “We would call our first witness, Wendy Russell.” A stunned Wendy walked in, stopped and looked a little confused. She then smiled and blushed after recognizing family and friends watching her every move. She was taken to the Judge and officially sworn in. Wendy took the witness stand and I took my role as prosecutor and began the “questioning phase”. I began asking her questions about our relationship that began in 1991. I was afraid she might be too choked up to talk, but she did surprisingly well. We laughed and made jokes. Then I asked the judge if I could approach the witness. I marked “the box” as exhibit #1 and I asked Wendy if she knew what it was and she exclaimed, “I hope so!!” I then went down on one knee and asked her to marry me. Through tears of joy she said, yes! We hugged and kissed and were followed by cheers and clapping from the audience. We celebrated with everyone afterwards at our reception and then were amused at watching it again on the 6 0’clock and 10 o’clock news.