Late last March, readers of Metro Notes were told the poignant story of Bruce Edward Swain, a 26-year-old Virginia Beach resident. He leaped to his feet in court as his pregnant wife was being sentenced to jail for narcotics possession and cried out: "Wait! I'll serve the time. It's my drugs."
The judge eventually approved. After serving the time, and looking forward to rejoining his wife and his since-born son, Swain was released Sunday from the Henrico County Jail outside Richmond.
It would be nice to report a happy ending, that the reunion had taken place. It didn't. On the eve of his release, Swain found that his 25-year-old wife Carmen would not be waiting for him. She had gone to North Carolina and was seeking a divorce.
"I feel bad the way I did it, but I just couldn't see staying with him because I don't love him," Carmen Swain told a reporter by telephone from Jacksonville, N.C. " . . . One reason I married Bruce was because I was carrying his child . . . . He's really hurting, and I can understand that . . . . "
Bruce Swain said he was moved to volunteer for jail by a desire that his wife and son not be behind bars.
"If I knew this was the way she felt, I would have never stayed in that jail," Swain said. "I"ve cried every day since I been out. I'm just stuck in the middle. I need some help . . . . I want my son . . . . I want to be able to change his diaper."