Accused Former Funeral Director Maintains Innocence
Boatright Knew His License Was Suspended, Prosecutors Say
7:09 AM, Jun 14, 2011
The trial of a former funeral director accused of mishandling prepaid funeral funds entered its second day on Tuesday.Martin Boatright, 53, was charged with 14 felony counts, including corrupt business influence, forgery and theft after an infant's body was found in a Dumpster in October 2009.Prosecutor Mary Hutchinson said Boatright signed death certificates when he knew his license was suspended and that he directed another person to sign the name of Marria Washington, a licensed funeral director, 6News' Derrik Thomas reported.Prosecutors said the key evidence in the case was paper. Boatright is accused of signing death certificates when his funeral license was suspended.Inspector Jeanne Tucker testified in court on Tuesday about Boatright's actions."He signed at least one," Tucker said.Tracy Hicks, the director of the funeral board, testified that there was no doubt Boatright knew his license was suspended."(Boatright) was aware at that meeting when the board made the decision to suspend his license. He was present at that meeting, at that time, his license was going to be suspended and he received an order suspending his license by certified mail," Hicks said.Sharon Jagers, a former employee of Boatright's, also testified that he directed her to sign the name of Marria Washington, a licensed funeral director, on nine death certificates. Jagers, who was not charged, said she did it because Boatright told her to.Washington testified that said she did not give Boatright, or anyone, permission to sign her name.Boatright maintained his innocence throughout the trial.Closing arguments were scheduled to begin late Tuesday, with jury deliberations to follow.