Mortician gets 1 week in jail for 11 decaying bodies

TOLEDO, Ohio — The owner of a funeral home where 11 bodies were found in various states of decay, some in a damp garage, was sentenced Monday to spend a week in jail and give up his funeral licence.

See Full Article

Robert Tate Jr. faced relatives of the deceased and apologized, but he didn't explain why he left the bodies in what the state funeral board said was a condition "that would outrage reasonable family and community sensibilities."

"My prayer is that each of the families harmed can find closure," Tate said before he was sentenced.

In late May, authorities removed the 11 bodies, including 10 adults and a premature infant, most of which were stored in cremation boxes and body bags. At least one had been there about four months, officials said.

The niece of one man who was found with mold on his body said that Tate treated her uncle's remains like they were garbage.

"It was something you would expect to see in a horror movie," Tiffany Feahr said before the sentencing.

Her uncle, Fred Winkelman, died last April and was supposed to be cremated, she said. The family became suspicious after Tate didn't turn over his remains and demanded to see the body, she said.

Her uncle, she said, was covered with a sheet, unshaven and not clean. "We never want someone to experience something so horrific," Feahr said.

The family called state inspectors right away. Investigators said Tate put dryer sheets near the bodies to mask the smell.

Prosecutors did not recommend jail time for Tate, but Lucas County Judge Ruth Ann Franks said he needed time to consider what he had done, noting that he earlier blamed delays in cremation on physicians failing to provide death certificates in a timely manner.

The condition of the bodies "violated every sense of decency society expects of you, Mr. Tate," the judge said.

She ordered Tate to spend five years on probation and perform community service.

Tate, who earlier pleaded no contest to abuse-of-corpse charges, also agreed to never again work for a funeral home and pay restitution to two families because he kept the remains of two people in an area without air conditioning or refrigeration.

Defence attorney, Mark Geudtner, said that dozens of Tate's former clients along with preachers in the city wrote letters of support. He said that Tate would often provide free services for those who could afford them, including the family of an infant killed in a drive-by shooting a few years ago.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Foreign media arrive for North Korea nuclear site closing

    World News CTV News
    WONSAN, Korea, Democratic People's Republic Of - Foreign journalists have arrived in North Korea to cover the dismantling of the country's nuclear test site later this week. South Korean media initially scheduled to join were not allowed onto Tuesday's charter flight from Beijing. Source
  • Depression preceded fatal crash into N.C. restaurant, pastor says

    World News CTV News
    BESSEMER CITY, N.C. - A North Carolina man accused of crashing a car into a restaurant table full of loved ones, killing two, had suffered for weeks with depression and previously asked his family to take his guns away, his pastor says. Source
  • Australian archbishop convicted of child sex abuse cover-up

    World News CBC News
    An Australian archbishop who was the most senior Roman Catholic cleric in the world charged with covering up child sex abuse was convicted Tuesday and faces a potential two years in prison. Magistrate Robert Stone handed down the verdict against Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson in Newcastle Local Court, north of Sydney, following a magistrate-only trial. Source
  • Thousands of Rohingya rape victims expected to give birth

    World News CTV News
    Tens of thousands of pregnant Rohingya women, many of whom are believed to be victims of rape, are expected to give birth in the coming weeks in squalid refugee camps in Bangladesh. Since August 2017, more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled systematic violence in Buddhist-majority Myanmar for neighbouring Bangladesh in what the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has labelled a “textbook example of ethnic cleaning. Source
  • What happened to MH370? Canadian duo believe they have the answer

    World News CTV News
    The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has baffled investigators for more than four years, but a pair of retired Canadian air crash investigators believe they’ve found the answer. On March 8, 2014, the passenger jet carrying 239 people was travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing but crashed somewhere in the Indian Ocean. Source
  • 13 cottages near Meadow Lake, Sask. destroyed by wildfire

    Canada News CBC News
    The Tuff wildfire still ablaze in central Saskatchewan destroyed all the cottages in one subdivision over the weekend. Wayne Pearson, who owns a property at Flotten Lake, said a spokesperson with the Meadow Lake Provincial Park called him Sunday morning to say all 13 cottages had been destroyed. Source
  • Baboon escapes crate at Texas airport; officers corner him

    World News CTV News
    SAN ANTONIO - A baboon on his way to a South Texas wildlife sanctuary escaped his crate and kept officers busy for two hours at San Antonio International Airport. Officers shot the baboon named Dawkins with a tranquilizer dart. Source
  • Rescuers helped injured B.C. landslide victims through waist-deep mud, debris

    Canada News CBC News
    Gabe Rosescu remembers waking up hanging from his seatbelt, groaning and barely able to see. Before he blacked out, he was travelling down a B.C. highway with his partner, Sheri Niemegeers. Sask. couple swept away by B.C. Source
  • FBI, U.S. Justice Department to 'review' classified info sought by lawmakers

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The White House said Monday that top FBI and Justice Department officials have agreed to meet with congressional leaders and "review" highly classified information the lawmakers have been seeking as they scrutinize the handling of the Russia investigation. Source
  • Cuban plane crash death toll rises to 111 as 2 survivors still in critical condition

    World News CBC News
    Cuban state media say a 23-year-old survivor of Friday's plane crash in Havana has died, raising the death toll to 111. Gretell Landrove Font died Monday afternoon of extensive injuries suffered in the crash of the Boeing 737 that was rented from a Mexican company by Cuba's national airline, Cubana, state radio and television stations announced. Source