Ga. Operator Of Phony Crematory Faces Prison Term


Crematory operator Brent Marsh, who for years dumped bodies on his north Georgia property and presented families with fake ashes, will plead guilty to criminal charges Friday, prosecutors told family members in a letter. Attorney Ron Cordova, a co-counsel for Marsh, told the Los Angeles Times the agreement called for a 12-year prison sentence followed by an extended period of probation. A spokesperson for District Attorney Herbert Franklin would not comment on the letter Tuesday. A judge must approve any agreement before it is valid.

Marsh faced 787 criminal charges of theft and abuse of a corpse. Responding to an anonymous tip, state officials in 2002 found a skull on the property of the Tri-State Crematory in Noble, Ga. – the family business that Marsh took over in 1997. They launched a search that ultimately uncovered 334 bodies, some still in body bags and hospital gowns. Scores of families since have dug up loved ones’ graves, only to find them empty. Family members of the deceased will have the opportunity to deliver victim impact statements at a sentencing hearing Jan. 31, the letter said. A civil suit against the crematory was settled in August for $80 million.

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