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Murder suspects marry in Santa Ana jail wedding

June 28, 2011 |  9:55 am

Newlyweds Iftekhar Murtaza and Marissa Bilotti.

A pair of Orange County jail inmates facing murder charges were married in a behind-bars ceremony Monday, a circumstance officials could not recall happening before.

The 20-year-old bride is Marissa Star Bilotti, a Huntington Beach woman jailed since December 2010 for allegedly helping an ex-boyfriend kill a man in a dispute over a woman.

Bilotti’s new husband is Iftekhar Murtaza, 26, who is being held without bail awaiting trial on accusations that he took part in a brutal 2007 attack in which he allegedly killed his ex-girlfriend’s father and sister and severely beat his ex-girlfriend’s mother.

Bilotti and Murtaza were married Monday in the Orange County jail's visitors area in a ceremony that lasted five minutes.

“Nobody can ever remember doing an inmate marriage like this,” said spokesman John McDonald of the Orange County Sheriff's Department. “Inmates marrying visitors is kind of common. Not this, two inmates marrying each other."

According to the Orange County Register, the two met early this year through letters, and Murtaza proposed in April during a visit in the attorney-client visiting area of the main jail.

Though they are now married, the two may never be alone together.

Murtaza faces the death penalty and if he gets it, he will not be allowed conjugal visits on death row.


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Photos: Newlyweds Iftekhar Murtaza and Marissa Bilotti. Credit: KTLA-TV (Channel 5)