By John Clark
A 38-year-old Texas man has allegedly been married to two different women for the last three years, according to police in Fort Worth.
Both of Germaine Gardea’s wives have apparently been unaware of each other’s existence, despite the fact that they live less than 17 miles apart, according to an ABC News report.
In the state of Texas, like many other states, bigamy is a serious crime. The Lone Star State takes it very seriously, as it treats bigamy as a third degree felony, according to sources.
This case, however, is not a simple case of one man living double lives. Sources note that Gardea did make a passing effort to file for divorce from his first wife, but that the filing was not completed due to his own negligence.
On October 16, 2009, Gardea filed for divorce from his first wife, who lives in Arlington. Remarkably, on that same day, he married his second wife.
Of course, the divorce process takes longer than a few seconds, so at best, it was foolhardy for Gardea to get married on the day of his divorce filing. At worst, it was a criminal offense.
In addition, Gardea failed to show up at his initial divorce hearing, which voided the filing altogether. And, to make matters worse, local police officers told reporters that Gardea’s first wife may still be unaware of her husband’s attempted divorce filing.
Moreover, Gardea’s second wife believes “that her husband has been divorced from the first wife since 2009,” according to Forth Worth Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Pedro Criado.
It’s fairly remarkably that Gardea was able to keep his double life hidden for so many months, and it’s a testament to his criminal ingenuity.
The rouse, however, was exposed this May, when Gardea’s first wife received a surprise call from his second wife, who had somehow discovered that her husband had been paying bills at two different homes.
When the second wife revealed the con to the first wife, Gardea’s original spouse, with whom he has a child, immediately called the Fort Worth police, who promptly arrested Gardea on one third degree felony count of bigamy.
The man is no longer in prison, after being released from jail on a $2,000 bail, although his options for a place to stay have likely been trimmed by two.
Sources also note that the first wife has officially filed for divorce, and a hearing has been set for later this year.