Judge Gives Killer 53+ Years, Presides Over His Wedding

Judge Gives Killer 53+ Years, Presides Over His Wedding

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The marriage of Danne Desbrow and his fiancee, Destiny, came just minutes after he was sentenced to 53 years-to-life in prison for first-degree murder.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Patricia Cookson officiated at both events. She even baked a cake for the Sept. 17 ceremony, the newspaper said.

Cookson declined to respond to a request for comment from the newspaper.

Desbrow was sentenced for the 2003 killing of Kevin Santos after a witness with key information came forward recently. His defense attorney argued Desbrow was defending himself in a fight.

During the two-month trial, Desbrow proposed to his girlfriend. The two met in high school but lost contact after she became pregnant at 16, according to the U-T.

They reunited in January after the mother tracked down Desbrow so their son could meet his father. Desbrow was in jail at the time awaiting trial.

After Desbrow proposed, Cookson agreed to marry them, according to the U-T.

Cookson sentenced Desbrow to two consecutive 25-year-to-life terms and an additional three years for threatening a witness.

After the sentencing, members of the victim's family were escorted out of the courtroom, the newspaper said. The couple's relatives were allowed to remain. The deputies locked the doors and Cookson married the couple.

The couple kissed and Cookson went back to her chambers. Moments later, she appeared with two pieces of vanilla Bundt cake on paper plates with plastic forks.

Destiny Desbrow told the newspaper the judge baked it herself.

One witness told the newspaper the judge didn't bring out the whole cake because she was concerned about bringing the knife that would be needed to slice the cake into the courtroom with Desbrow there.

Danne Desbrow intends to appeal the murder conviction. He remains in county jail pending another court hearing on a separate case in October.

"Obviously, it was an unusual day from start to finish," defense attorney Steve Cline told the U-T. "I mean, I appreciate that she honored the request for them to marry. But, I've never seen anything like that."

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