A Sumner County man charged with two counts of bigamy says the charges are just a big misunderstanding.
Larry Taylor, 32, was arrested Wednesday after his latest and fourth wife discovered he was still married to a previous wife and told authorities.
Gallatin police investigated and determined he was in fact still married and that he also married his third wife while still being married to his second.
“On May 4, the complainant came to report an incident of bigamy with her current husband,” Gallatin police Sgt. Bill Storment explained. “According to her, she discovered paperwork in her husband's belongings where a former wife had filed for divorce meaning he was still married to that individual.”
He continued, “We conducted an investigation and determined he was still in fact married to two women.”
Taylor says the court records are wrong.
He told Nashville's News 2 Investigates he has been married four times and divorced three.
“This whole thing is bogus. I got married when I was 18 years old to [wife No. 2]. She went to legal aid and we got divorced. Papers were served to me saying I was divorced. I took the papers to the courthouse and they said, 'Yes, you are divorced,'” Taylor said.
He continued, “Then I married wife No. 3 and I come to find out the divorce was not final to wife No. 2 so wife No. 2 didn't go to court and file the papers. I'm not sure why. I was 18 years old so they, the court, told me it was like the marriage to me and wife No. 3 never happened. They said it was their, the court's, mistake.”
According to police records, Taylor's second wife filed for divorce in 2001.
Records also show Taylor married his current wife in 2006.
“I feel like I have done nothing wrong and they made the mistake. I told the police this. There is no record of divorce from wife No. 3 they say and I say that's right because there was no record because it was like there was no marriage, like it never happened,” Taylor said.
Nashville's News 2 Investigates spoke to Sumner County Clerk Bill Kemp by phone.
According to Kemp, when someone applies for a marriage license, what number marriage it is, how it ended and the date of the divorce is on the marriage license application.
“The person applying, it is their responsibility to know if they can or cannot get married. We try not to practice law. If they apply for a license, we verify the license is purchased. If the marriage is void or not is up to the court. It is not what we do, nor do we check to see if you are married or not,” he said.
Kemp added, “It's your responsibility to provide the correct information on the application and we keep a record. We have marriage records.”
Taylor said his arrest has already cost him his job and financially.
“I lost my job,” he said. “I had to sit in jail all day yesterday.”
Taylor continued, “We had to pawn our TV and stuff to get my bond up to get me out of jail.”
Taylor's fourth and current wife is still living with him. He said his divorce from his third wife should be final in July.
“It has been rough,” he said. “It is crazy my kids had to see them pull me out the back door and put me in handcuffs. The way they surrounded my house and stuff with all my neighbors, it was like I killed somebody.”
Taylor is out of jail on a $2,000 bond. He is also on probation in connection with an unrelated arrest in Macon County.
He said he is unsure how the latest arrest could affect his probation.
Taylor is scheduled to appear in court on July 18.
Bigamy is a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, Taylor faces up to 11 months and 29 days in jail on each of the two counts of bigamy against him.