Galilee cemetery owner accused of crushing caskets pleads guilty - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Galilee cemetery owner accused of crushing caskets pleads guilty to theft

Jemar Lambert (Source: WMC Action News 5) Jemar Lambert (Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Jemar Lambert, who owns Galilee Memorial Gardens, pleaded guilty to a charge theft over $60,000 after burying bodies on nearby land that he did not own. 

Lambert, 39, agreed to an Alford plea, which means he maintains his innocence but acknowledges there is enough evidence to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

He was arrested on the theft charge in September 2013, but was released on his own recognizance. He was later arrested in January 2014 on new charges of theft of property and abuse of a corpse, accused of crushing caskets and burying three bodies in a single grave.

After being released on a $10,000 bond in August 2014, Lambert was arrested again on Thursday for violating conditions of his bail by testing positive for marijuana.

Galilee Memorial Gardens was closed in January 2014. David Kustoff was appointed as deputy receiver of the cemetery; he is responsible for management of the business while under the court's control.

Lambert was sentenced to 10 years probation.

The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance released the following statement Friday evening:

"The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance's ongoing efforts to determine who maintains property rights at the cemetery are not impacted by the plea deal of Jemar Lambert. This development in no way changes TDCI's course of action. Galilee Memorial Gardens will remain closed for the foreseeable future, and the receivership will remain in place. We offer our sympathies to the families that have been affected in this matter."

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