Yes, the current wife almost certainly would have found out anyway. But the new “wife” sure made it easy, thanks to Facebook. As reported by The Capital Journal (Pierre, South Dakota):
To save his months-old marriage, Brian Wright must, a judge said Tuesday, end it and then divorce the wife he married earlier so he can legally re-marry the woman he married in May, who accompanied him to court and watched him plead guilty to bigamy.
She left holding his hand.
Wright, 35, was indicted by a Pierre grand jury in June on a charge that on May 8 he committed bigamy, by marrying a woman while he was married to another woman.
“Guilty,” he told state Judge John Brown Tuesday.
Brown granted Wright’s request to suspend the imposition of any prison sentence.
So why didn’t the clerk marrying Wright know that he was already married?
When Wright and his new wife obtained a marriage license this spring at the Hughes County Courthouse, the register of deeds office had no way of easily knowing that Wright had previously obtained a marriage license with another woman some years before in the office and whether that earlier marriage was still in legal force.
Deputy Register of Deeds Patty Williams said divorce and annulments are handled at the state level. So county register of deeds offices have no automatic way to know if a marriage license filed in the county represents a still-current marriage, Williams said.
And how was Mr. Wright outed?
… it wasn’t until Wright’s new wife posted the good news of the wedding on Facebook that it all came out, Williams said.
“His first wife saw the pictures and contacted law enforcement,” Williams said.
What say you, Mr. Wright? Well …
“I was married prior . . . and I didn’t take care of it in a legal way or anything,” Wright said. “The person I had married had left town and moved away. I made a mistake when I got married again.”
Oops. Here’s the source.