A woman who met her husband just weeks before being sentenced to 23 years in prison has revealed how their love affair flourished while he was behind bars and now they are happily married despite being divorced.
Self-employed personal trainer, Nina Hoffler, 29, from Phoenix, Arizona, met her husband Michael in October 2006 through friends in a fast-food parking lot when they were just teenagers aged 16 and 17, respectively.
Just two months later, Michael was jailed for participating in an armed robbery in North Carolina and their relationship seemed doomed when he was sentenced to 23 years in prison.
Tough love: personal trainer Nina Hoffler, 29, from Phoenix, with her husband Michael, 30. The couple met when they were only 16 and 17 weeks before Michael was sentenced to 23 years in prison for his part in an armed North Caroline theft
The couple on their wedding day on January 6, 2017 in Ironwood State Prison. They officially made the decision after Michael proposed during a prison visit on June 4, 2016
Nina and Michael pull a kiss during one of her visits to him – the couple kissed first six years after their meeting
Although she had never kissed her teenage sweetheart, she vowed to write to him while he was in prison – and their love grew in the decades that followed.
After Michael was first arrested, his story quickly spread on the front pages of newspapers, and although he was the youngest in the group, he received the most severe punishment after trying as an adult.
Determined to keep her promise, Nina wrote him a first letter.
During the first three years of his sentence, their relationship blossomed and Nina knew she was in love. Although she was afraid of the judgment of others, she continued to write letters to him daily.
Only in 2012 did they kiss for the first time during their first personal prison visit. After this they came even closer and Nina started to visit Michael more often.
Michael introduced Nina on June 4, 2016 and the pair tied the knot in the Ironwood State Prison on January 6, 2017.
& # 39; I met Michael on the street through mutual friends when we were teenagers. It was a meeting in Wendy's parking lot, although he swears it was a Taco Bell, & Nina said.
& # 39; At the same time I met him, I thought he was the prettiest man I had ever seen. He seemed incredibly guarded and super mysterious, as if he had so much in mind.
The couple pictured on the night of their official honeymoon; they now enjoy romantic three-day trysts in his prison apartment
Letters turned into love: Nina refused to tell anyone except her mother and a close friend that she fell for a convicted criminal, but is now happy to share their love and fight for an early release
& # 39; I remember asking early & # 39; what's the matter with you? & # 39; and his friend agreed to say: & he is now going through it, he has just found out that he may have been locked up for a few years & # 39 ;. Without skipping, I looked at him and said: & # 39; I will write to you & # 39 ;.
& # 39; Michael tried to raise money to pay a lawyer to support his case because of an attack and a few weeks later in December 2006 he was involved in an armed robbery in El Dorado, Northern California.
I don't know when it will come out yet. Anyway, I am here and we will always fight this together. I signed up for better or worse, not always roses and stages …
& # 39; This place is a very small town and when the press found out it was plastered everywhere in the local headlines. Michael was the youngest of the group and tried it as an adult of 17 years. Because he was completely in the news and received a mandatory minimum weapon improvement, he was given the longest sentence that was given for a total of 23 years.
& # 39; When I found out that he was locked up, I took out a piece of paper and a pen and kept my promise. I wrote something like: & # 39; I told you I'd write to you, even though I didn't think you believed me when I said it & # 39 ;.
& # 39; Over the next three years, our connection developed slowly and I knew that I was in love with him, but I was also very afraid of what people would think about me if I had a man who spent a long time in the prison. For this reason, my mother and my best friends were the only two people who knew.
Committed: Nina says she can't wait for her husband & # 39; to come home & # 39; and says: & # 39; To see that beautiful smile of his when he comes out of that van that will drive him to the front door, will be an invaluable moment never forget. & # 39;
The newlyweds can enjoy marital rights, which means that they only get time; Nina says she can even wear sexy lingerie, on condition that there is no braces on it
& # 39; For good or for bad, not always roses and increase & # 39; The personal trainer says she will not leave her imprisoned partner
& # 39; In February 2016 I finally allowed myself to be honest with my true feelings for Michael and I didn't care what other people thought anymore.
& # 39; Michael had clearly made major emotional and behavioral changes and it was clear to me that he became the man I always believed he would be. Finally I started sharing the news with everyone and started posting photos of us together during prison visits via Instagram. This made Michael smile, he knew he was no longer a secret.
& # 39; In 2012 we had our first kiss during our first personal prison visit and during a visit on 4 June 2016 he introduced me and I was so happy and of course I said yes. We got married in Ironwood State Prison on January 6, 2017. & # 39;
By getting married, the spouses were able to visit a couple for up to 48 hours, where they could be completely alone, allowing them to become intimate for the first time, a decade after their meeting.
A new law was passed in 2014 that would allow juvenile delinquents in California to have their sentence investigated after their 15th military service. Michael can conditionally release this within 90 days after the approved grant. He is now serving his thirteenth year and they are waiting patiently for his hearing, making the pair & # 39; hopeful and optimistic & # 39; has become.
Personal trainer Nina says she wants to draw attention to the number of children being tried in the US as adults, as Michael was
Mini vacation: there is a queen-size bed in the apartment that the couple can spend up to 48 hours in
On May 4, 2017, we were able to complete our marriage after a decade of correspondence. This was incredible for both of us …
The couple performed their wedding in 2017, something the couple described as & # 39; unbelievable to both of us & # 39 ;.
She describes the prison accommodation where they spend their romantic weekend: & The units are small apartments with two bedrooms and a bathroom. Each unit is connected by separate fenced yards. The kitchen has a sink, fridge with freezer, toaster, microwave and cupboards.
& # 39; The living room has a small sofa, TV and a small music player for radio or CD & # 39; s. There is also a small dining table and a few chairs.
& # 39; There is a shower and a bathtub in the bathroom. Finally, the main bedroom has a queen bed and the other room has twin beds.
She adds: & # 39; I have to take my marriage license with me every time I visit and can take a small canvas duffel bag with clothing for three days. I can take most toiletries that must be ready and ready for inspection. I also have to bring all bedding. I can even bring nice lingerie, as long as there is no braces in it. & # 39;
Nina says she is excited about the idea that Michael might one day leave the prison and come home, and whether it is sooner or later that she says she will be doing this for the long term.
& # 39; A huge sense of relief will completely consume me when I see him take his first steps as a free man. moment I will never forget.
& # 39; I don't know when it will come out yet. Anyway, I am here and we will always fight this together. I signed up for better or worse, not always roses and stages.
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