Shawnte Hardin faces trial over alleged phony funeral home

Shawnte Hardin faces costs connected to furnishing funeral solutions with no a license.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Shawnte Hardin is accused of functioning an unlicensed funeral enterprise, abusing the bodies in his treatment and defrauding the households who ended up spending for his expert services. Dozens of cremated continues to be were being uncovered inside an Akron church leaving families to marvel where by their beloved kinds seriously were being. 

Prosecutors say this took place in many Ohio counties including Lucas, Cuyahoga, Summit and Franklin.

Hardin was arrested by OSHP troopers in Wooden County in Oct, 2021.

His demo commenced Monday in Choose Michael Goulding’s Lucas County Frequent Pleas courtroom. This is a bench trial, which implies there is no jury. Choose Goulding will determine the circumstance.

This is the total listing of costs against Hardin:                                    

  • 1 count of engaging in a sample of corrupt activity, a very first-diploma felony.
  • A few counts of tampering with information, 3rd-degree felonies.
  • A person count of theft, a fourth-diploma felony.
  • 8 counts of abuse of a corpse, all fifth-diploma felonies.
  • Five counts of failure to file taxes, all fifth-degree felonies.
  • Five counts of passing bad checks, all fifth-diploma felonies.
  • Two counts of id fraud, both of those fifth-diploma felonies.
  • Two counts of telecommunications fraud, both fifth-degree felonies.
  • 6 counts of illustration as a funeral director whilst unlicensed, two unclassified felonies and 4 unclassified misdemeanors.
  • Solitary counts of fifth-diploma felony legal applications and unauthorized use of a vehicle.
  • Just one depend of running an unlicensed funeral residence, an unclassified felony.
  • One particular depend of failure to refrigerate a human physique, an unclassified misdemeanor.

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Tuesday, July 12:

9:45 a.m.: The 2nd day of Shawnte Hardin’s trial started off late Tuesday when Hardin was late arriving. Decide Michael Goulding, who is presiding above the bench demo with no a jury, chided Hardin to be on time for potential proceedings.

The initially witness on the stand Tuesday was Dionne Fortress, a previous Lucas County Coroner’s Office worker.

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Monday, July 11:

The trial for Shawnte Hardin, the gentleman accused of running an unlawful funeral household small business, has started in Lucas County Typical Pleas Courtroom Monday.

In opening arguments, the Prosecutor Bradford Tammaro said the coronary heart of his case is that Hardin did not offer dignity or regard to the people whose bodies he allegedly mistreated. 

Hardin’s attorney, Rick Kerger, argued in his opening assertion that the defendant did try out to enable families have a appropriate funeral for a reduced cost. Kerger mentioned that contrary to the state’s accusations, his consumer never claimed to be a accredited funeral director.

Soon after opening arguments, Columbus Law enforcement Officer Anthony Johnson testified about finding two bodies within a former splendor salon that Hardin was applying to do his function.

Johnson testified that Hardin told him he had, at a single time, been in the funeral enterprise. 

When Johnson asked Hardin why he no more time was in the funeral company, Hardin explained to the officer he knew he was not allowed to be in the funeral company devoid of a license, Johnson testified.

7 witnesses took the stand Monday just before the court docket recessed for the day. 

Court is predicted to resume Tuesday early morning with much more prosecution witnesses.

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Maria Flores

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