Sunday, April 22, 2018
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Tampa couple stars in new series ‘Love After Lockup’ on WeTV

Some people find love through blind dates, online matchmakers or simply coincidence. Others, like a Tampa couple on the WeTV series Love After Lockup, find love through communicating with people in prison.

The new series premieres Friday and follows six couples who "share the emotional journey of being united for the first time after years of supervised visits, recorded phone calls and letters, as they transition from love behind bars to the marriage altar," according to a news release about the show.

The Tampa couple featured this season is Johnna DiGrigoli, 26, and Garrett Tanner, 25. A "wine-fueled evening of looking for love online" led Johnna to Garrett, who was serving a seven-year sentence for burglary and grand theft, according to the show.

On social media, though, DiGrigoli attempts to clarify the "vague" story WeTV provides. She explains in a December Instagram post that she didn't meet Tanner online, but rather they've known each other for years but lost touch. Until DiGrigoli found out Turner was in prison.

During the first episode, we meet DiGrigoli and Tanner along with five other couples WeTV follows in the first season. The two have been together for four years, but haven't spent any time together as a couple outside prison walls.

From inside Florida State Prison in Starke, Tanner explains he has been incarcerated since he was 18. According to the Florida Department of Corrections inmate database, Tanner's prison sentence history includes more than a dozen charges of burglary and attempted burglary in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties along with grand theft, grand theft auto, drug possession and credit card fraud. He was released March 24, 2017, to a community release center.

Viewers get to see Tanner's first moments outside prison walls as he walks out of the St. Petersburg Community Release Center and into the arms of DiGrigoli.

DiGrigoli believes Tanner is committed to her, but she's having trouble convincing her father to meet him. In the first episode, her dad tells her "you're living in a dream world" and continues to balk at having to meet Tanner when he's released.

But DiGrigoli knows what she wants as soon as Tanner is released: a ring and a wedding. Based on teasers for the upcoming episodes, it's going to be a wild ride for them both.

Find out if these lovebirds make it. 10 p.m. Friday on WeTV.

Contact Chelsea Tatham at ctatham@tampabay.com. Follow @chelseatatham.

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