JEFFERSONVILLE, Indiana: Randy Lankford, owner of Lankford Funeral Home and Family Center in Jeffersonville, Indiana, has pleaded guilty to more than 40 counts of felony theft after 31 decomposing bodies and the cremated remains of 17 others were found in his funeral home.
Clark County Circuit Court Judge N. Lisa Glickfield said Lankford faces a potential sentence of 12 years, with four years in prison and eight years of home incarceration.
Lankford was charged with theft for failing to complete the funeral services he was paid for, and must also pay restitution to 53 families, totaling $46,000.
Following the hearing, Lankford was released to home incarceration.
A formal sentencing hearing is planned for 23rd June.
After the county coroner's office reported a strong odor coming from the funeral home, Jeffersonville Police began investigating early last July and discovered unrefrigerated bodies in various states of decomposition.
The many charges against Lankford complicated the investigation, Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said.
"We wanted to get justice for these families," he said, as quoted by the Associated Press.