Lawyer: Runaway Bride 'Had to Take Action'

Runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks (search) is "fragile ... emotional ... [and] upset" after running out on her wedding and sparking a massive search amid fears that she had been kidnapped or harmed, her new lawyer told FOX News on Wednesday.

"She had been under a tremendous amount of stress.... She had to take action, just get away and get out from under the pressure," said Lydia J. Sartain (search), a former district attorney in Georgia.

Sartain said Wilbanks felt "so much pain for the family and the community." She said her client is afraid that she may face criminal charges connected to her five-day disappearance.

"I would describe her state now as being very fragile. She's very emotional, very upset about what's happening and what's been done," Sartain said.

Wilbanks herself is expected to make her first statement on the matter Thursday, said a spokesman for the Lakewood Baptist Church in Gainesville, Ga., where Wilbanks has been receiving counseling.

The 32-year-old woman was getting ready for her lavish wedding before 600 guests when she failed to return from a jog April 26. Authorities mounted a massive manhunt for her as the story gained national attention. Wilbanks' husband-to-be, John Mason (search), took a private lie detector test to prove his innocence.

She turned up on Saturday, the day of her wedding, in Albuquerque, N.M. She initially said she had been abducted but then admitted she made it all up. Authorities have said they are considering filing criminal charges against her, possibly for filing a false report.

"I think that clearly there's no criminal intent," Sartain said Wednesday. "She just had a breakdown, and ordinarily you're able to do that in the privacy of your own home. But here, for a variety of reasons, it's become so public."

Sartain said that after spending so much taxpayer money on the search for Wilbanks, it would be "throwing good money after bad" to prosecute her.

Sartain was the solicitor of Hall County State Court from 1987 to 1991. From 1993 to 2002, she was the district attorney. In 2002, she was named a partner in the litigation division of a private law firm in Gainesville.