ATLANTA (AP) _ Despite misgivings, a man has complied with a judge's order and married the girlfriend he threatened to kill.

Darrell Meadows, 26, of Wallingford, Ky., had threatened to kill Angela Whaley, 28, and their daughter, Nicole, while on a visit to friends in Georgia in November.

Cherokee County State Court Judge Clyde Gober reduced felony battery and terroristic threat charges to misdemeanor disorderly conduct, sentencing Meadows to probation and ordering him to pay $1,200 in fines, get counseling and marry Whaley.

The judge said he chose the unusual sentence so Meadows would have a legal obligation to support the child.

The sentence prompted criticism nationwide from advocates for civil liberties and abused spouses.

Meadows himself balked at the order, though not the idea of marrying his girlfriend. The marriage was Saturday in Kentucky.

``They got married because they wanted to,'' Kenneth Applegate, a friend who gave the bride away, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. ``I got the feeling he wanted to go ahead and get married, but he didn't want to do it if it seemed he was just complying with the order.''

Meadows' lawyer later said he suggested marriage as part of the plea agreement after Gober said his client ``didn't show enough remorse to marry the mother of his child.''