Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Shaddy Funeral home Director is facing 10 Felony Counts

martsmemorialIn probably one of the downright dastardly set of circumstances I can remember, a funeral home director is facing some very serious criminal charges.  From giving people the wrong ashes, to storing bodies at room temperature, to just straight up robbing money from the elderly who are pre-paying for their funeral, this guy is accused of doing it all.

What was a civil case has evolved into another case this time with criminal charges pending.  Here is the article on Fox 4's website.  If this is true it is just plain messed up.

Funeral Home Director now Faces Criminal Charges
By: Tess Koppelman

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Attorney General is filing criminal charges against a former funeral home director in a story that FOX 4 news first started investigating two years ago.  Ron Marts is now facing ten felony charges including theft, deceptive business practices, and violating state laws about pre-need contracts. Pre-need contracts are for people who want to pre-pay for a funeral. People do it for peace of mind, but according to the Attorney General’s investigation, Marts wasn’t even licensed to sell pre-need contracts and now it appears that the money is gone.

Back in July 2010, FOX 4 first told you about Hadley Cutburth, who was certain that funeral director Ron Marts gave him the wrong ashes at his wife’s funeral. After his wife’s funeral, he got a call from the funeral home saying that they had his wife’s ashes ready for him to pick up, so he knew something was wrong. The Attorney General investigation confirmed that at the time of his wife’s funeral, she hadn’t even been cremated yet.

After Cutburth came to FOX 4 with his story, we investigated and found Marts Funeral Home was already on probation for things like shoddy record keeping and not storing bodies in proper temperatures. The state revoked Ron Marts funeral directors license and the funeral home was forced to close last spring. Just before closing, investigators came to the funeral home, taking pictures and collecting bags of evidence.  Friday, the Attorney General’s office issued the warrant for Marts arrest and a judge set a 20-thousand dollar bond. In a news release, the Attorney General’s office says that Marts is accused of giving the wrong remains to two different people, and selling pre-need contracts without a license. The court records also say Marts never set up a proper trust account for the pre-need money.

Cutburth has also filed a civil suit against Marts. Cutburth’s attorney Andy Smith says his civil case was set to go to trial in October, but it’s not clear how the civil case will be impacted now that Marts faces criminal charges. Smith says that these criminal charges confirm what he and his client have been saying all along, “that there was something terribly wrong going on there” at Marts funeral home.  The Attorney General’s office says Marts faces 15 years in prison for the charge of stealing over $25,000, seven years in prison for selling pre-need contracts without a license, and four years for the charge of “Unlawful Merchandising Practices.”
The Attorney General says people who paid for funeral services that were not provided should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Hotline at 1-800-392-8222 or online at to file a consumer complaint.

Question: I got a speeding ticket and the officer told me I had a warrant out. What do I do?

This was a question submitted through my sister site. is a site that I created and where I allow people to write in and I will answer questions for them about legal issues.  Currently we have about 17 newspapers publishing the article in their print or on their website.  This was a recent question that I thought may be relevant for the this blog.

Q:  I live in Kansas and I was pulled over for speeding in Kansas.  When I got pulled over the officer told me I had a warrant out for my arrest.  The officer didn't arrest me but told me to clear it up.  He also told me my license was suspended.  I don't know why the warrant was issued or where the warrant is from.  What should I do?
A:  I would start in Kansas, and I would start with the Kansas Department of Revenue.  Most of the time people have a warrant out for not showing up to court.  Many times this is because a person has a traffic ticket they didn't take care of.  When you get a ticket and don't go to court then the judge will often do two things: 1) Suspend your driver's license 2) issue a warrant for your arrest.  This may be what happened.  To find out where the ticket was issued you can go to the Kansas Department of Revenue's website and check why your license is suspended.  This video will explain how to do it.

Once you have found out where your license is suspended then you can begin the process of taking care of the warrant and addressing the suspension.   If this doesn't provide you with the answer you need (no warrants are present) then you may have a warrant out for a criminal case. If the warrant is because of a criminal case you may want to contact a criminal defense lawyer so that he/she can surrender you to the court and get a bond set for your release.  This may save you money on a bond, and will give you an opportunity to talk with a criminal defense lawyer.  To determine if you have a warrant on a criminal case you can go to the jail in your county and ask, or you can have a lawyer send in a written request to the sheriff's office.  Beware if you go in to the jail they may arrest you if you have a warrant out.  Depending on what state you are in this process will obviously differ.  Spend a little time researching on google and call a local criminal defense lawyer if you need additional help. Good Luck!