She took him and him to have and have, hold and hold until both men depart — now St. Francois County prosecutors are seeking a bigamy conviction.
The 24th judicial circuit court issued a criminal summons for Michelle A. Declue “Sykes”, 28, on Tuesday alleging her of the class A misdemeanor of bigamy.
According to court documents, the most recent conjoining took place December 2010 before Judge James Kelly in St. Francois County. Three years later, in December 2013, the latest husband, or paramour, of Sykes approached county deputies to report he recently discovered his wife had married in October 2008 in St. Clair County, Ill., and seemingly still was.
Deputies contacted the courts there and obtained the marriage license for Michelle Sykes and a male dated Oct. 17, 2008. St. Clair County officials told investigators that neither Sykes nor her husband from the 2008 union had filed for divorce.
St. Francois County Prosecuting Attorney Jerrod Mahurin says the previous marriage in St. Clair County in 2008 would nullify the union made in St. Francois County in 2010.
“If you’re already married to somebody, entering into it in St. Francois County would be basically in violation,” Mahurin said.
Bigamy charges are rare since they often go unreported, but are not unheard of. Mahurin says this is the first he personally has ever prosecuted.
“Obviously the victim in the case is very upset and feels wronged. So we took the report and looked at it and followed the statutes under Missouri law,” Mahurin said.
The statute of limitations could play a part in the case since the time limit for prosecuting a misdemeanor is one year.
“Without reason to know that a crime had been committed, we are going to go from the date that it first became known or should have become known,” Mahurin said.
A class A misdemeanor in Missouri if convicted carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.