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True Crime Lite: Heath Bumpous and the Wedding That Wasn't

Weddings are stressful, especially if you're the one getting married. They're dreadfully expensive, a pain in the ass to plan, and then there's usually the worry of how the two families will blend together afterward. Not to mention that added pressure of having to make it the most special and important day of your life because, ideally you only get married once. In this case the couple likely didn't get married at all, unless the bride was seriously ride-or-die. For my first stupid criminal I decided to go with a man that buckled under the pressures of wedding planning, Heath Bumpous.

Heath Bumpous was a 36-year-old man living in Crockett, Texas, 120 miles away from Houston in October, 2019. He was working as the head of the EMS service in Houston County at the time he proposed to the woman of his dreams. As the big day drew closer and closer, the demands got bigger. They needed a wooden wedding venue in the lush, green forest at the Cochino Lodge near Kennard, Texas. They also needed still needed flowers, and the ring that Heath's fiancee had her heart set on, costing $3,200. Nine months before the big day, Heath was fired from his job at the EMS service. Even though he assured his fiance that everything had been paid for and taken care of, he still owed thousands on their wedding.

As the wedding drew closer and closer, Heath got more and more nervous, but not to get married. He knew that this was the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with, without a doubt. He would do absolutely anything to not only wake up beside her every morning, but to make sure she got the wedding of her dreams. It was October, 4, 2019, the day before the wedding, and Heath was sweating hard. Most men would be getting ready for their bachelor party the night before their wedding. One final night of strippers, liquor, and debauchery before a lifetime of marriage, children, and property taxes. Heath was having a very different kind of adventure that day, though.

Heath was driving to the nearby small town of Groveton, Texas. The Mayberry-like town of only 1000 residents likely isn't used to seeing much crime. It probably came as quite a surprise when Heath Bumpous arrived at the Citizens State Bank at about 11:30 that morning to rob it. The cute, green-roofed, one-story building that houses the Citizens State Bank sit directly in the center of town, and 500 feet from the Sheriff's Department. Heath had driven his own car to commit the crime, a gray Ford Focus, and made no effort whatsoever to conceal his identity.

He strode into the bank, up to the counter, and informed the teller that he had a gun and he wanted the money in cash. I don't know if this idiot thought they were going to transfer him bitcoin, or what. He also made it known to the teller that he was getting married the next day and didn't have enough money to pay for the venue and his fiance's wedding ring. This almost kind of reminds me of Jim Carry committing his first robbery on Fun With Dick and Jane. He didn't exactly make a break for it after receiving over $7000 in cash, which he stuffed into gray Walmart bags. Instead of a suitcase or even a pillowcase, he just got into that one drawer we all have in our kitchen and grabbed two handfuls. He just casually strode out of the bank as casually as he had strode in after stuffing his Walmart bags full. The surveillance cameras caught a clear, perfect picture of his face as he walked out the door.

With the Sheriff's Department only 500 feet away, it didn't take long for police to arrive. They didn't manage to catch Heath, though. He was speeding away on dirt, forest roads, trying to get out of town and to the Cochino Lodge to pay for the venue. On his way there he ditched the outfit he'd worn at the bank on the side of the road. It must have seemed like he had gotten away with it and he was going to have the happiest day of his life the next day. He actually made it to the lodge to pay the staff the $2,600 he still owed them, all in $20 bills. Little did he know, the bank's cameras had caught a perfect likeness of his face and the police had posted it to Facebook.

As he was on his way from the lodge to go buy his fiance's ring, he got a text from her. He opened his phone to see her message read, "Did you just rob a bank?" He tried to thoroughly deny it, but she had taken a screenshot of the picture, that clearly was him. She sent him the screenshot, and he finally admitted to what he did and she was able to talk him into turning himself in. Defeated, and probably newly single, Heath Bumpous turned himself in at the Houston County Courthouse just two hours after the robbery. He was charged with aggravated robbery and held on $300,000 bond, but I couldn't find anything on his trial or sentencing.

Houston County Sheriff Woody Wallace, said that most of the money, his clothes, and the .380 pistol used in commission of the crime were all recovered. He made a Facebook video from the drivers seat of his car, wearing his cowboy hat and sunglasses. He stated for the viewers,"Don't come to Trinity County to commit your crime, because we are going to find you as quick as we can. We're not going to stop until we do, and we're going to put you in jail." Heath was held on a $300,000 bond and was said to be quiet and cooperative. He told Sheriff Wallace, "Hey, I'm caught. I did it. It was stupid, and here I am."

It's unknown if Heath did marry his fiance, but if not, I'd say she dodged the bullet. Would you really want to tell people how to spell Bumpous for the rest of your life? Sheriff Wallace was asked by the media if a wedding ever took place after Heath's arrest. The Sheriff replied, "No wedding took place that I know of. It didn't happen in my jail." Instead of taking his vows and slipping a $3,200 ring on his bride's finger, he was in jail the day of his wedding. If I were the fiance I would've went on the honeymoon alone and met a man by the beach while sipping margaritas.

We can definitely say that Heath figured out the wrong way to register for his wedding. Some take aways from this story, maybe don't let the pressures of wedding planning get you too stressed out. If the date is coming up and you're short on funds, maybe postpone. And if you are going to rob a bank, consider concealing your identity and not driving your own car. Clearly Heath Bumpous was no John Dillinger, but what can you expect with a name like Heath Bumpous?


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