Memphis-area cemetery owner facing charges

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Authorities say the owner of a Memphis-area cemetery has been arrested on charges that multiple bodies were buried in the same graves without permission.

Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich said 38-year-old Jemar Lambert was arrested Friday on charges of theft of property over $1,000 and abuse of a corpse. Lambert owns Galilee Memorial Gardens Cemetery in the Memphis suburb of Bartlett.

In a news release, Weirich said the cemetery improperly buried the remains of three different people in the same grave on March 9 and March 12 of last year.

The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, which regulates the state’s cemeteries, has filed a request for a temporary restraining order, shutting down the cemetery. The department also has filed a petition seeking to take control of the cemetery.