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Michigan Couple Engaged at Walmart Go To Jail

By Ephrat Livni, Esq. on January 08, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Marriage proposals can be elaborate or simple. Pretty much the only key to their success is the couple's happiness. Whether the big question is popped in person or via a skywriter, on an island paradise or a busy freeway, it's an event many people dream about.

The point, theoretically, is not the place or the ring, but the two people promising their lives to each other. So when a Michigan man requested that his proposal be read over the loudspeaker and a couple got engaged at a Bay City Wal-Mart on New Year's Eve, employees and customers cheered and congratulated, according to Michigan Live.

Difficult Beginnings

At Wal-Mart, the man purchased an engagement ring for under $30, and the couple went to a nearby store to pick up sex toys. But their celebration was cut short when they were caught shoplifting, and fled the shop.

Deputies who responded to a call about shoplifters at Spencer's Gifts tracked down and found the woman at the mall, wearing stolen jewelry. She denied the accusation and refused to help find her fiancé. But he was spotted sleeping at the food court and taken into custody.

William Cornelius Jr., 25, and the woman, 20, unnamed in the report, ended up spending the first night of their engagement in jail. It was New Year's Eve.

Although the woman initially refused to snitch on her true love, an interview with her in custody sufficed. She said that Cornelius was the one who stole the jewelry for her, and he appeared willing to take the fall.

Brushes With the Law

This was not the first time that Cornelius Williams has had a brush with the law. He is on three years probation for a felony ethnic intimidation charge stemming from a November 2014 incident. Drinking on the porch with his cousin, they attacked three black men walking past the house.

Cornelius was charged with one count of third-degree retail fraud, punishable by up to 93 days in jail and a fine of $500. But this new charge will also likely trigger a probation violation hearing, and he will face penalties on that as well.

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