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Shawnte Hardin Accused of Running Unlicensed Funeral Business

Shawnte Hardin, a man from Toledo, Ohio, has been charged with running an unlicensed funeral business and abusing bodies. Hardin waived his right to have a trial by jury and will instead appear in front of a judge for a bench trial.

The list of charges against Hardin include: 

  • One count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a first-degree felony.
  • Three counts of tampering with records, third-degree felonies.
  • One count of theft, a fourth-degree felony.
  • Eight counts of abuse of a corpse, all fifth-degree felonies.
  • Five counts of failure to file taxes, all fifth-degree felonies.
  • Five counts of passing bad checks, all fifth-degree felonies.
  • Two counts of identity fraud, both fifth-degree felonies.
  • Two counts of telecommunications fraud, both fifth-degree felonies.
  • Six counts of representation as a funeral director while unlicensed, two unclassified felonies and four unclassified misdemeanors.
  • Single counts of fifth-degree felony criminal tools and unauthorized use of a vehicle.
  • One count of operating an unlicensed funeral home, an unclassified felony.
  • One count of failure to refrigerate a human body, an unclassified misdemeanor.

Denver Criminal Defense attorney, Jeffrey Wolf, joins CourtTV to discuss the opening statements of this trial. “I was a little concerned he couldn’t remember the name of his witnesses, he kept saying there’s a person who’s going to say this, a person said that… he kept using pronouns and not using proper names…” The opening from the State seemed to drag on a bit too long, and with the ambiguous language being used it did not lend itself well to a strong opening statement. Check back for more updates on the case and more commentary from Jeffrey Wolf.