British woman, 26, will marry American penpals when they first meet behind bars in American prison

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British intern advisor, 26, will marry her American pen pal, known as ‘Animal’, when they first meet behind bars in American prison

  • Naomi Wise, from Chelmsford, Essex, met the murderer through a prison sentence
  • The 26-year-old trained as a counselor and was looking for ways to hone skills
  • But romance soon blossomed with Victor Oquendo after they exchanged letters
  • Oquendo was convicted of fatally shooting two men when he was 19 in a gangland attack
  • He won’t be released until 2034, but the couple plan to get married as soon as possible

A British woman will fly to the US to marry a double murderer known as ‘Animal’ after getting to know him through imprisonment.

Naomi Wise, of Chelmsford, Essex, trained as a counselor before the pandemic hit and she was forced to find other resources to hone her skills.

The 26-year-old joined the plan connecting people with inmates who want pen pals, where she met 30-year-old Victor Oquendo last June.

Known as Animal, Oquendo is currently serving a 24-year sentence after being convicted of shooting two people in a gangland hit and has also been involved in three armed robberies.

Despite its history, Naomi describes Victor as ‘the nicest man’ [she] ever met ‘and the couple became engaged after exchanging emails and phone calls.

Within a few months, Oquendo had proposed three times before Naomi finally accepted, after initially being hesitant because they hadn’t met.

Naomi Wise met her fiancé in prison

Naomi Wise, pictured, is planning to marry double murderer Victor Oquendo this year

Naomi Wise, pictured, is planning to marry double murderer Victor Oquendo this year

Naomi Wise, from Essex, (pictured) plans to marry double murderer Victor Oquendo in a US prison in Michigan after meeting him through a pen-buddy scheme during the Covid pandemic.

Naomi was training as a counselor when the pandemic started, so she joined the prison's pen pals scheme as a way to hone her skills during the lockdown, but it wasn't long before Victor introduced her

Naomi was training as a counselor when the pandemic started, so she joined the prison's pen pals scheme as a way to hone her skills during the lockdown, but it wasn't long before Victor introduced her

Naomi was training as a counselor when the pandemic started, so she joined the prison’s pen pals scheme as a way to hone her skills during the lockdown, but it wasn’t long before Victor introduced her

Now Naomi plans to fly to Michigan in the US to marry Oquendo in prison as soon as the coronavirus pandemic permits.

Speak to the MirrorNaomi said: ‘Victor is not a monster, he is human.

‘Never in my wildest dreams did I ever intend to fall in love with a prisoner, but it happened and I wouldn’t change it.

Victor is the nicest man I’ve ever met. People may judge before they know the full story, but I can’t imagine my life without him. ‘

Victor Oquendo (pictured) was jailed in 2010 after fatally shooting two men in a gangland attack

Victor Oquendo (pictured) was jailed in 2010 after fatally shooting two men in a gangland attack

Victor Oquendo (pictured) was jailed in 2010 after fatally shooting two men in a gangland attack

The 26-year-old plans to fly to the US this summer to visit Victor with the intention of marrying him at the Macomb Correctional Facility as early as September.

She now spends an estimated £ 270 a month calling the prison and sending emails to her fiancé.

Naomi said her friends are accepting the relationship, but it will take longer for her family to join their romance.

Victor was jailed after fatally shooting two men in 2010 when he was 19 years old. He admitted that there were two cases of second-degree murder and a series of other crimes.

Naomi hopes to marry Victor in September.  Pictured: a sketch made by Naomi's girlfriend

Naomi hopes to marry Victor in September.  Pictured: a sketch made by Naomi's girlfriend

Naomi hopes to marry Victor in September. Pictured: a sketch made by Naomi’s girlfriend

Naomi described the moment she felt about his beliefs and added, ‘I was shocked. It was a lot to take in.

“I wanted to know how he felt about what he had done. If he didn’t care, that would have been a red flag, but he’s extremely remorseful.

He struggles to live with himself and has night terrors. It told me a lot about the person he really is. ‘

Victor is expected to be behind bars until 2034, but Naomi says the state of Michigan will pass the Good Behavior Act next year, which could mean he will be released early if he behaves while in prison.

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