LEADVILLE, Colo. (KDVR) — Less than two weeks after he offered his resignation, the Lake County Coroner faces 14 new criminal charges related to mishandling the remains of five dead people.
The charges against Shannon Kent includes five counts of abuse of a corpse, four of which are felonies, one is a misdemeanor.
In addition, Kent faces three misdemeanor counts of unlawful acts of cremation, a misdemeanor count of official misconduct, three misdemeanor counts of false health information/vital stats and two petty offense citations for official misconduct.
46-year-old Kent has been in legal trouble since 2019 when a grand jury indicted Kent and his wife Stacy Kent for official misconduct and perjury for allegedly allowing Stacy Kent to act as a deputy coroner even though prosecutors said she wasn’t authorized to act as one.
The two are accused of leaving the body of a California man in a coffin for more than six months at a Silverthorne mortuary they once owned.
In December of 2020, the state of Colorado revoked Kent’s licensure at each of the of the funeral home and crematory businesses he owned. The Department of Regulatory Agencies found Kent to be in violations of law that require documentation for human remains and proper handling of remains.
Shannon Kent was already facing legal trouble after Lake County sheriff deputies executed a search warrant in October of 2020 at his Leadville mortuary where investigators found a body not refrigerated and paperwork scattered everywhere.
In addition, Kent is facing a civil lawsuit from a couple who claims he mixed the remains of their stillborn baby with ashes from an adult, along with metal pieces.
Kent’s resignation takes effect Aug. 1 unless the county is able to appoint his replacement before then.