Funeral home owners sentenced after decomposing body found

The former co-owners of a South Carolina funeral home have been sentenced to a year’s probation in connection with a decomposed body that was in a locked storage room for three years

SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- The former co-owners of a South Carolina funeral home have been sentenced to a year’s probation in connection with a decomposed body discovered in a locked storage room last year.

Lawrence Robert Meadows and Roderick Mitchell Cummings, who owned the now-defunct First Family Funeral Home, were charged with desecration of human remains. Cummings pleaded guilty in the case. Meadows entered a plea of no contest, which registers as a conviction.

The Post and Courier, citing court records, reported Wednesday that Circuit Judge R. Keith Kelly handed each a three-year sentence, suspended to 12 months of probation.

Meadows and Cummings were accused of failing to properly care for the body of Mary Alice Pitts Moore, who died at age 63. Her body was left unattended in an unrefrigerated storage room for three years. When recovered, Moore’s body had decomposed beyond recognition, authorities said.

The maximum penalty the two men could have received was 10 years in prison and a fine of $5,000.

Cummings apologized to Moore’s family during the plea hearing, his attorney, Davida Mathis, said.

Meadows’ lawyer, Michael Bender, declined to comment on the matter, saying only that his client “looks forward to moving on with his life.”