Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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Rochester

Ex-Funeral Director Found Not Guilty of Body Stealing

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A jury found former Hilton funeral director Serrell Gayton, guilty on one count of scheming to defraud.

The jury acquitted Gayton of six counts including body stealing, opening graves and unlawful dissection of two deceased people.

Gayton was one of seven charged locally in connection with Biomedical Tissue Service. The company is based in New Jersey and had an office in Brighton.

The funeral home Gayton formally worked for, Serenity Hills, was associated with BTS.

Its owner is in prison on these charges. Three others locally were found guilty, another pleaded guilty.

"In the scheme to defraud, they couldn't explain away how Mr. Gayton received some money from this and that was their easiest way of explaining it," Gayton’s attorney Mark Young said.

“There are four trials locally. It's difficult for the family to go through it each time. It's a grieving process for them each time, but hopefully each trial as it progresses they can put it behind them and go forward with their lives," Monroe County Assistant District Attorney Tim Prosperi said.

Gayton will be sentenced in September. He could serve three years probation or up to one year behind bars.

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