Shawnte Hardin faces trial over alleged phony funeral home

Shawnte Hardin faces fees linked to supplying funeral products and services devoid of a license.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Shawnte Hardin is accused of working an unlicensed funeral company, abusing the bodies in his treatment and defrauding the families who were shelling out for his services. Dozens of cremated remains have been discovered inside of an Akron church leaving people to marvel where their cherished kinds truly have been. 

Prosecutors say this happened in various Ohio counties like Lucas, Cuyahoga, Summit and Franklin.

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

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

This is the whole checklist of expenses towards Hardin:                                    

  • One particular count of partaking in a sample of corrupt exercise, a 1st-degree felony.
  • A few counts of tampering with documents, 3rd-degree felonies.
  • Just one rely of theft, a fourth-degree felony.
  • Eight counts of abuse of a corpse, all fifth-degree felonies.
  • 5 counts of failure to file taxes, all fifth-degree felonies.
  • 5 counts of passing lousy checks, all fifth-degree felonies.
  • Two counts of id fraud, equally fifth-diploma felonies.
  • Two counts of telecommunications fraud, both equally fifth-diploma felonies.
  • Six counts of illustration as a funeral director even though unlicensed, two unclassified felonies and four unclassified misdemeanors.
  • One counts of fifth-diploma felony criminal applications and unauthorized use of a car.
  • A person count of running an unlicensed funeral home, an unclassified felony.
  • A single rely of failure to refrigerate a human human body, an unclassified misdemeanor.


Wednesday July 13

Court resumed Wednesday in the trial of Shawnte Hardin with testimony from the family members of people today whose bodies Hardin dealt with.

The spouse and children users testified that Hardin misrepresented himself as a funeral director even with owning no license to operate as a funeral director.

Witnesses told the court docket that Hardin asked for dollars for operate that had been delayed for months. Some testified that they were upset just after finding out that Hardin had delivered the bodies of their beloved types out of condition without them realizing.

Caring Stewart testified that Hardin mishandled her brother’s continues to be, asking her and her sister to fulfill him at a Columbus gas station to see their brother’s casket, which he experienced in the back again of a van. The sisters, who are Christian, had been also upset, they testified, when Hardin took their brother’s human body to a mosque and also when they learned their brother’s overall body was saved in a place that was not refrigerated.


Tuesday, July 12:

The 2nd day of Shawnte Hardin’s trial began late Tuesday when Hardin was late arriving. Judge Michael Goulding, who is presiding about the bench demo without the need of a jury, chided Hardin to be on time for foreseeable future proceedings.

Witnesses included latest and former Lucas County Coroner’s Workplace staff members, together with local funeral administrators, who testified about their experiences working with Hardin.

Lucas County Coroner Diane Scala-Barnett testified about one human body that her business experienced released to Hardin only to have the continues to be returned to the coroner’s business. The coroner stated her place of work uncovered that Hardin’s enterprise was not an actual funeral house and the overall body had not been properly refrigerated.

“Bodies will decompose pretty fast the moment they’ve been opened in the course of an autopsy and which is why I would have no issue in any respect about this if he was embalmed, but he wasn’t, he was recently autopsied and the bag was breached,” Dr. Scala Barnett testified.

Witnesses also integrated family members customers of Hardin’s consumers who testified they identified out their cherished ones’ bodies were being saved in unusual sites, these kinds of as kitchens, and that they experienced difficulty acquiring dying certificates.

Other present and previous Lucas County Coroner’s Office staff, alongside with area funeral directors, testified about their experiences dealing with Hardin.

A single witness who worked for a body transport company testified he advised that a human body Hardin was dealing with be cremated due to the fact it was in lousy situation thanks to decomposition.

A person coroner’s office environment staff testified that the regional funeral organization neighborhood believed Hardin was “sketchy.” Hardin’s defense lawyer alleged that people today in the organization ended up out to get his shopper due to the fact Hardin was an outsider.


Monday, July 11:

The demo for Shawnte Hardin, the guy accused of running an illegal funeral household business enterprise, has begun in Lucas County Common Pleas Courtroom Monday.

In opening arguments, the Prosecutor Bradford Tammaro reported the heart of his situation is that Hardin did not provide dignity or regard to the people whose bodies he allegedly mistreated. 

Hardin’s legal professional, Rick Kerger, argued in his opening statement that the defendant did check out to assist households have a good funeral for a lower cost. Kerger mentioned that contrary to the state’s accusations, his shopper in no way claimed to be a certified funeral director.

Soon after opening arguments, Columbus Police Officer Anthony Johnson testified about finding two bodies inside a previous beauty salon that Hardin was using to do his function.

Johnson testified that Hardin told him he had, at one time, been in the funeral organization. 

When Johnson asked Hardin why he no more time was in the funeral enterprise, Hardin informed the officer he realized he was not allowed to be in the funeral organization with out a license, Johnson testified.

7 witnesses took the stand Monday prior to the courtroom recessed for the working day. 

Court docket is predicted to resume Tuesday early morning with a lot more prosecution witnesses.