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Meet Lauren Jenai — CrossFit Co-Founder Marrying Accused Murderer In Jailhouse Wedding

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Who Is Lauren Jenai? New Details On CrossFit Co-Founder Marrying Convicted Murderer

The co-founder of CrossFit is fighting for her right to marry Franklin Tyrone Tucker, an accused murderer who has been in prison for two years. 

Last November, Tucker was released on bond and moved to house arrest. And the couple have finally set their wedding date for this month.

Before Tucker was released, he and Jenai had never even kissed before and were originally planning to have their first kiss during the ceremony in the jail. 

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Who is Lauren Jenai?

And how did she even meet this man? Is she still involved in CrossFit? 

Jenai is the co-founder of CrossFit.

Jenai has a net worth of around $20 million. She co-founded the CrossFit movement with her ex-husband, Greg Glassman. She was a hairdresser when she met and fell in love with Glassman.

She has four kids with Glassman, ranging in age from 10 to 13. She lives in an $800,000, five-bedroom house in Portland, Oregon.

Her divorce was a messy one. It reportedly started to go south in 2009 when Jenai was pregnant with twins and couldn't travel to CrossFit events anymore. 

How does she know Franklin Tucker?

Jenai reportedly went to high school with Tucker. They had crushes on each other in high school. Like many former high school classmates, they reconnected as adults on Facebook.

Jenai and Tucker rekindled their friendship before he was arrested in 2017. 


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Who is Franklin Tucker — and what's his crime?

Tucker was a resident of Key West, Florida on November 17, 2017 when he and another man, Rory Hank Wilson, were charged with first-degree murder for the fatal stabbing of 59-year-old Matthew Bonnett. The man was stabbed as he approached a shanty tree house belonging to his neighbor, Paula Belmonte.

Tucker and Wilson were robbing Belamonte at knife point. They were also looking for crack cocaine. Bonnett, unfortunately, walked in on this scene and lost his life as a result. The case has come to be known as the "Tree House Murder."

Tucker was then arrested and locked up at the Stock Island Detention Center. His attorney maintains there's no physical evidence linking him to the murder.

Jenai and Tucker fell in love while she was working to help prove his innocence. 

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She was banned from video visitation.

Back in February 2019, Jenai was banned from videochatting with Tucker, because she got too sexy during their chats.

She said at the time, “You’re not supposed to expose yourself or wear racy clothes. But we have a very close connection. Our love transcends concrete walls. We’ve never been together, we’ve never touched in that way. Obviously those feelings come up. I got a little risqué. I was touching my boobs. I got a warning — the warning came up. I stopped.”

Her account to chat with the inmate was immediately suspended for three years.

Jenai used her mother's account to contact Tucker and she said, “The heat of the moment sometimes gets the best of you. I want to be as good of a fiancé to him...”

She received no warning like she had on her account, but she discovered that account was banned from jailhouse contact for 100 years. Even worse, Tucker was moved to solitary confinement as a result. 


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Their jailhouse wedding was going be their first kiss.

Before Tucker got out on bond and moved to house arrest, his jailhouse wedding to Jenai was going be the couple's very first kiss. It would have been their first physical contact in the more than 30 years they had known each other.

Though her request to marry Tucker was initially denied, they've now been given the go-ahead. The next steps were for them to attend a marriage counseling class. 

He's facing life in prison.

If Tucker is convicted of the murder of Matthew Bonnett, he could face life in prison. His case is ongoing. 

Tucker was released on house arrest in November 2019.

Last fall, Tucker was released on a $2 million dollar bond, right before the couple were originally planning to wed. 

At the time, Jenai said, “It’s a huge success and a long time coming. Once everything’s in place, he can walk out of the jail. It’s shocking... I don’t know what I’m doing or saying. I’m happy.”

They didn't want to get married right away. According to Jenai, “I want him to come out and have a breath.”

Jenai explained that she and the lawyers had actually been attempting to make a bond deal for over a year and even received help from her ex-husband to make it happen. Since his release, Tucker has been on house arrest.

The couple also hope that the bond deal would be the first step towards getting the whole case dismissed.

They've set a wedding date.

Jenai and Tucker will wed on June 26th. “We are eager to get married, and we don’t know when life is going to be normal again, so we decided that we were just going to go ahead and just do something special from home. We’ll keep it really special, pretty low-key, just our household members," she said. 

To officiate the wedding, Jenai added, "We’ll have a friend who can come in and stand 6 feet away.” 

Jenai and Tucker have also been trying to appeal his house arrest.

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Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based writer and editor covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.

Editor's Note: This article was originally posted in October 2019 and was updated with the latest information.