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Former Bell Co coroner once again ordered to report for competency evaluation to stand trial

From WRIL - The Big One

Donald Clyde Creech

As we previously reported, former Bell County Coroner and Funeral Home director 74-year-old Donald Clyde Creech was indicted in April of 2022 accused of 38 counts of violating the Kentucky trust provision of pre-need payment for funeral goods and a count of theft.

Before his September 2022 trial was to begin Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip J. Shepherd ordered that Creech was to undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine if he is competent to stand trial. However, due to a lack of beds at the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center, Creech was not able to report to the facility as the judge ordered.

He was recently seen working at Hopper Funeral Home in Barbourville as recently as the end of June of this year. (Addition to the story as of 5:50pm on 7-6-23) A representative of Hopper Funeral Home contacted WRIL stating that Clyde Creech was not a "paid" employee and that he was only present helping his wife Bonita at the business.

On Thursday, June 29th, Judge Shepherd entered a second order requiring Creech to be taken to the Lagrange, Kentucky facility. WRIL has obtained that order which states that the Franklin County Sheriff will be contacted by KCPC for Creech and his counsel to appear at the sheriff's office to be transported. The order further states that after the completion of inpatient competency evaluation, the staff will notify counsel and the sheriff's office for Creech to be brought back from KCPC.

Donald Clyde Creech is accused of taking funds from individuals that were to be placed in trust and then sent to the trust manager at the Funeral Directors Association of Kentucky in Franklin County. The monies range from $3,750 to as much as $9,000 for a total of $248,925, which is alleged to have been taken from 1996 to roughly January of 2014.

There is also one count of theft by failure to make required disposition of property over $500 in regard to $5515 obtained from an individual for a legal obligation in which Creech falsely dealt with the property as his own and failed to make the required payment even though two other parties had purchased the funeral home.

Creech held the office of Bell County Coroner from 1981 to 2011.

He has retained Attorney T. Scott Abell to represent him.

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