Man charged with bigamy thought divorce was final

Man charged with bigamy thought divorce was final (Image 1)

A White County man charged with bigamy said he did not intentionally marry a third woman before divorcing his second wife.

Matthew Wallace, 32, of Sparta, Tennessee told Nashville's News 2 he thought his divorce from Louanna Wallace was final 90 days after their last court appearance.

“There is no way I would do that on purpose,” he said. “I don't need two wives. I don't want two wives.”

Wallace's estranged wife Louanna Wallace turned him into authorities after an anonymous email tipped her off to his new marriage.

“I was shocked,” she said. “I didn't know what to think or anything.”

Matthew Wallace appeared in a White County court Friday after White County Sheriff's Deputies served him with a criminal summons for bigamy.

“I could see it if a guy had two wives and they were in accordance together, but we are not,” he said. “I had no idea. We would have never done it.”

According to Putnam County marriage records, Louanna and Matthew Wallace married in July 2009. They were together until October 2011. The couple share one child.

Louanna Wallace said shortly after they separated the couple filed for divorce, but the divorce has yet to be finalized. 

According to White County marriage records, Matthew Wallace married Amanda Guy on March 8, 2012.

White County Clerk officials told Nashville's News 2 that Wallace did not list a previous marriage on his application, however, in Putnam County there is a marriage certificate on file from July 2009 to Louanna Wallace.

On that marriage application Wallace listed another marriage that ended prior to his marriage Louanna.

Putnam County officials told Nashville's News 2 Matthew Wallace reported that he divorced another woman in March of 2009.

Wallace said he is plans to go through with the divorce from Louanna Wallace and move on with his third wife Amanda.

“I think it's probably going to void it out and we will just get this took care of like we are supposed to and we will just take it from there,” he said. “It is a simple mistake.”

Wallace said he plans to take a pre-trial diversion on the bigamy charge.

He said he will serve probation.

At the end of his probation if he has not been accused of any other crimes the bigamy charge would be cleared from his record.

Bigamy is a class a misdemeanor in Tennessee and is punishable by up to 11 months 29 days in jail and a $1,500 fine.

Wallace is due back in court May 25.

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