JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 49-year-old Jacksonville man was arrested last week on a felony charge of bigamy.
Bigamy is the act of marrying a second time while a previous marriage is still legally in effect. Darel Soles has a wife in Mississippi and a second one in Jacksonville, according to his arrest report.
Soles told News4Jax on Tuesday that he made a drunken mistake in 2018: an unintended marriage. He said he had just won $20,000 at a casino in Tunica, Mississippi, and, on Aug. 7, 2018, he married a woman, who News4Jax has chosen not to identify.
News4Jax called the woman, who described a tumultuous and very brief relationship with Soles.
She obtained a domestic violence injunction against him in 2019, alleging he made “daily threats” to kill her, including one time when he held a machete to her throat. She said she attempted to serve divorce papers twice but couldn’t find where Soles was living.
According to Soles, he was under the impression that the casino wedding was just a tourist novelty and not actually legally binding. To get married in Mississippi, a marriage license from the court is needed. It’s at least a 24-hour process.
According to court documents, Soles’ second wife, who he married in July 2020, called police in late April, reporting she had discovered that her husband was already married.
It wasn’t until Friday when police said they spotted Soles at a property on Lee Street in the Fort Caroline neighborhood. According to Soles’ arrest report, his second wife, who News4Jax has also chosen not to name, said he wasn’t home, but police found him in an upstairs closet. He was arrested and later released.
When News4Jax spoke with Lee on Tuesday at the Lee Street property, his second wife was there as well, but she declined to comment for this story.
Soles is still under a restraining order against him by his latest wife, which he said she’s working to get thrown out.
Soles’ arraignment is set for June 28.