Families react to Galilee owner's probation sentence - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Families react to Galilee owner's probation sentence

Some say 10 years probation was not enough. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) Some say 10 years probation was not enough. (Photo 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.

Many families do not think the cemetery owner received a punishment suitable for the crime.

"Don't let it go just because he plead guilty to one crime and not the other, it's a crime," said Tina Correly. Correly is just one of the families affected by the closing of the cemetery back in January of 2014.

The cemetery closed shortly after Lambert 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.

Correly's mother is buried on the land reportedly not owned by Lambert.

"It's hard that we can't go in and actually go to her grave," says Correly.

"He should have got more time," said Chris Walsh. Walsh's family could not bury their loved one in a pre-paid plot at Galilee, putting them thousands of dollars in debt for the funeral.

"She didn't get nothing, nobody called her, it was just a lost cause," says Walsh.

Hundreds of families are now a part of a class action lawsuit against the cemetery. Monday, a status conference is set with the court to discuss the class action lawsuit.

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