» Subscribe Today!
More of what you want to know.
The Daily News
X

Forgot your password?
Skip Navigation LinksHome >
VOL. 129 | NO. 29 | Wednesday, February 12, 2014

2nd Lawsuit in Works Against Memphis Cemetery

AP

Print | Front Page | Email this story | Comments ()

MEMPHIS (AP) – Relatives of three people buried at a Tennessee cemetery that is accused of mishandling bodies said Tuesday they don't know where their loved ones' remains are located because they were not allowed to see the caskets being lowered into the ground.

Charles Branch told reporters that workers at Galilee Memorial Gardens just stood around after a funeral and he left before seeing his mother's casket buried. He said he returned to the cemetery in Bartlett but could not find the grave for his mother, Pearlie.

"When we want to go and spend time with her, we want to know where she's at," Branch said during a news conference at The Cochran Law Firm's office in Memphis.

Two other clients of the law firm, Regina Simmons and Angela Watkins, told similar stories. Simmons said the burial service for her mother, Hattie Mae Simmons, took place under a tent and she did not even see a plot where she was supposed to be buried.

The cemetery's owner, Jemar Lambert, was arrested Jan. 24 on charges that three bodies were buried in the same grave without permission. He has a court date scheduled for Feb. 24.

In a separate case, Lambert was indicted last year on charges that he sold burial plots to families on adjacent land not owned by the cemetery.

Lambert is being sued by relatives of two other people buried at Galilee who claim he operated without a valid license and misplaced or lost track of buried remains. Two Memphis funeral homes that took bodies to Galilee for burial also were named in the lawsuit.

Attorney Elbert Jefferson, who represents Branch, Simmons and Watkins, said he is also planning a lawsuit.

The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance says Lambert kept burying bodies at the cemetery for two years after his registration expired on Dec. 31, 2010.

A judge in Nashville said at a Monday hearing that a receiver is being appointed to take control of the cemetery. Lambert's lawyer at that hearing did not immediately return a call seeking comment Tuesday.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Sign-Up For Our Free Email Edition
Get the news first with our daily email


 
Blog Get more from The Daily News
Blog News, Training & Events
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 60 120 8,936
MORTGAGES 89 177 12,029
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 29 2,457
BUILDING PERMITS 0 188 20,029
BANKRUPTCIES 60 122 7,748
BUSINESS LICENSES 20 36 3,260
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 106 224 11,247
MARRIAGE LICENSES 27 73 2,741

Weekly Edition

Issues | About

The Memphis News: Business, politics, and the public interest.