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Emily Welker, Published March 07 2014

Dilworth man charged with bigamy

MOORHEAD – Prosecutors have charged a man with bigamy in Clay County, the second time in six months someone has allegedly gotten married here without divorcing their first spouse beforehand.

Jeremy Michael Anderson, 36, Dilworth, was charged Thursday in Clay County District Court with one count of felony bigamy.

According to documents filed with the charges, Clay County Detective Jason Hicks contacted Anderson Feb. 12 based on information the Sheriff’s Department received that Anderson had married in November in Clay County without first being divorced.

Anderson allegedly told Hicks he believed he was properly divorced at the time of his marriage to his second wife.

According to documents, Hicks contacted Anderson’s first wife Feb. 20. She showed Hicks an email she’d sent her husband Jan. 10 telling him she thought their divorce would be final the second week of February, and he would be free to marry another woman, named only as L.M. in court documents.

In a return email, according to court documents, Anderson responded by telling his first wife he and L.M. were no longer together and he was not going to marry her.

In a subsequent email Jan. 29, Anderson asked his first wife when she thought their divorce would be finalized, and she told him it would be the second week of February.

Court documents also state Anderson signed a marriage application for himself and L.M. in September in Clay County, and a marriage application for them Nov. 21.

His divorce from his first wife was finalized Feb. 14.

Anderson’s first court hearing is set for March 27.

A Vergas woman, Penny Lynn Fick, also was charged with felony bigamy in Clay County Court in September, after one of her husbands reported to Texas authorities they hadn’t been divorced before she married another man.

A plea hearing in that case is set for March 24.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Emily Welker at (701) 241-5541