Who is James 'Wyatt' Dentel? Prisoner serving 20-year sentence engaged to woman he’s never met

Dentel who is in jail for shooting four men proposed marriage to his now-fiancée Kelly Jacobs, 28, based 5,000 miles away from him in the Netherlands


                            Who is James 'Wyatt' Dentel? Prisoner serving 20-year sentence engaged to woman he’s never met
Love blossomed between James 'Wyatt' Dentel and Kelly Jacobs, 28, after several letters, emails, and instant message conversations between them (Facebook/@wyatt.dentel)

ONTARIO, OREGON: A prisoner serving time at a jail in Oregon has found himself a fiancée while being confined to his cell. James "Wyatt" Dentel who is serving a 20-year sentence for shooting four men has proposed marriage to his now-fiancée Kelly Jacobs, a 28-year-old woman who is based 5,000 miles away from him in the Netherlands. Jacobs and Dentel haven't met in person ever. Love blossomed between the two after several letters, emails, and instant message conversations between them. 

Prison weddings in the country and around the world are not rare. For instance, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has expressed a desire to marry Stella Morris, the mother of his two kids. Richard Ramirez aka Night Stalker who killed 13 people and sexually assaulted more than 12 married one of his fans Doreen Lioy. He had a massive fan following who believed he was wrongly confined in jail due to his Latin-American heritage. 'Bikini Killer' Charles Sobhraj's marriage to his lawyer's daughter Nihita Biswas had left many stunned as well. 

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James 'Wyatt' Dentel is engaged to Kelly Jacobs from Netherlands (Oregon Prison)

Who is James 'Wyatt' Dentel?

James 'Wyatt' Dentel is currently held at Snake River Correctional Facility in Oregon for assault, and unlawful use of a firearm during a bar fight in 2012. Explaining why Dentel is in prison, Jacobs said, “He was with a girlfriend, they were at a bar and they got attacked by five strangers, he tried to protect himself and his girlfriend, he pulled a gun and shot four of them, but none of them died." 

Jacobs, a social work graduate joined writeaprisoner.com and began writing letters to Dentel in his cell in 2019. “After a while we started calling and having video calls and using direct messenger, we would message each other for hours every day," she said adding that they eventually fell in love. After falling in love Dentel didn't waste much time and decided to propose marriage to Jacobs and he happened to do so via a video call.

The couple has plans of getting hitched inside the prison sometime in October this year. Dentel is not scheduled for release anytime until 2032 but he has found several ways to show his love for Jacobs. The locked-up prisoner has many tattoos in honor of his fiancée including the letter 'K' on the ring finger which he got to mark his engagement with Jacobs. Jacobs too got the letter 'W' inked on her ring finger and in a shocking turn of events, her parents have given their blessing to her relationship with Dentel. 

“He proposed with a prison-made ring, but then he had someone in the free world order a ring at a jeweler for me,” Jacobs said, who has graduated this year and hopes to work in psychiatry. She has her wedding planned in her head despite the fact she won't be allowed conjugal visits with Dentel as the state of Oregon prohibits it. “For the wedding, I won’t wear a traditional, fancy dress, because people don’t do that for prison weddings. I will probably just wear a simple white dress or white trousers or a white skirt and top," she said. Dentel and Jacobs have made plans of living together and having children once he is released from prison.  

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