A southern Indiana funeral home’s director admitted Friday to more than 40 counts of criminal theft after 31 decaying bodies and the cremains of 17 more people were discovered there.
According to Clark County Circuit Court Judge N. Lisa Glickfield, Randy Lankford, the proprietor of Jeffersonville’s Lankford Funeral Home and Family Center, is facing a suggested sentence of 12 years, divided between four years in jail and eight years of home confinement.
Due to his failure to perform the funeral services he was paid for, Lankford was charged with theft and ordered to pay $46,000 in compensation to 53 families.
CBS News confirms the news on their official Twitter account:
The director of a southern Indiana funeral home where 31 decomposing bodies and the cremains of 17 others were found pleaded guilty Friday to more than 40 counts of felony theft. https://t.co/POQDswY0DM
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 28, 2023
After the hearing, Lankford was granted home confinement. On June 23, a formal sentencing hearing will take place.
The county coroner’s office noticed a strong odor coming from the funeral home early in July of last year, and Jeffersonville Police started looking into the matter. Some of the unrefrigerated bodies had been at the funeral parlor since March when they were discovered in varying degrees of decomposition.
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The procedure was challenging, said Jeremy Mull, the Clark County Prosecutor, because of the volume of charges against Lankford and the COVID-19 pandemic-related court backlog. The state’s decision to erase around half of the counts, he claimed, will provide the most immediate sort of comfort.
He stated, “We wanted to seek justice for these families.
The court session on Friday was attended by Derrick Kessinger. While the bodies of three loved ones sat inside the funeral parlor, he claimed that he trusted Lankford.
It’s been difficult, but Kessinger added, “I do forgive him for what he did.” “I really hope he can find forgiveness.”
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