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Sam Penrod and Associated Press reporting After months of being in the spotlight, even the national spotlight, the kidnapping case involving the parents who tried to stop their daughter from getting married is over.
The parents admitted in court today that it was wrong for them to interfere with their daughter's wedding.
The judge called this case a tragedy, rooted in mental illness and sentenced the parents to three years of probation. He also ordered they undergo mental health evaluations and counseling.
Lemuel and Julia Redd walked out of court after pleading guilty to custodial interference for driving their daughter out of state to prevent her from getting married. Julia said, "She was 20 years old, and we just, I guess were concerned about a good choice, being wise, but we're not against marriage."
But meddling into their daughter's marriage, which took place a few days later despite what happened, blew up into a very public family feud. Lemuel said, "We're glad it's over, and from the beginning we expressed apology, and we are sincerely sorry for our conduct and what happened, and we just hope things can heal now."
The Redds will have to pay their son-in-law $2,000 in restitution for the wedding luncheon that never happened. And if they don't comply with the mental health therapy, the judge made it clear he will send them to jail.
Julianna Redd Myers told the judge she is frustrated it took her parents this long to admit what they did was wrong. Randy Kester, attorney for Julianna Redd Myers, said, "This is a big turning point for her. All she ever wanted was some taking of responsibility and some accountability for what happened, and acknowledgment that it was wrong. And now that has happened, she is ready to move forward and help heal this family. She loves her family, her siblings and her mom and dad."
Julianna Redd Myers met with her father for an hour this afternoon for the very first time since her marriage. Her attorney described the meeting as a start to mend their differences, although there are no immediate plans for her to speak with her mother. She told the judge today that she is still afraid of her mom. "We don't tell anybody where we live. We have a P.O. box," said Myers, who added that her mother "would stop at nothing" to learn where she lives.
Julianna Myers and her husband left the courthouse refusing comment. Her mother lingered and, in a teary interview, said she didn't know if reconciliation was possible. "We just want Julianna to know we are sorry for all that has happened," Lemuel Redd said. "That granddaughter we've never seen, we wish the best for her."
The parents acknowledged in the plea deal they had picked up Julianna for an ostensible shopping trip in August 2006 for religious garments for the wedding at a Mormon temple. Instead, they drove her more than 200 miles to Grand Junction, Colo., where they spent a night in a motel.
Julianna, who was 20 at the time, said her parents berated her on the drive, accusing her of breaking the Old Testament's Fourth Commandment, which says to honor parents. She said they called her fiancé "evil and wicked."
Julianna and Perry Myers were married Aug. 8, 2006, three days later than planned -- and without the Redds in attendance.
(The Associated Press contributed to this story. Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)