From WRIL -
Former Bell County Coroner and Middlesboro Funeral Home Director Donald Clyde Creech made his first appearance on Wednesday, May 25th in Franklin Circuit Court for arraignment in regard to a 39 count indictment against him for violating trust provision and theft.
As we reported on April 28th, the former owner of Creech Funeral Home in Middlesboro was indicted on 38 counts of violating the trust provision of pre-need payment for funeral goods. Each of the 38 counts represents families that Creech is accused of taking funds from 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 intentionally dealt with the property as his own and failed to make the required payment.
Clyde Creech went through bankruptcy at one point and in December of 2011 trustees took over the business when he wasn’t complying with the bankruptcy process.
Creech held the office of Bell County Coroner from 1981 to 2011.
During his appearance, Creech claimed he was indigent and was appointed public defender Sarah Aagard. He waived the formal reading of the indictment and entered a plea of not guilty to the charges. According to court documents Judge Phillip Shepherd accepted his plea of not guilty and allowed defense counsel 15 days within which to file and serve appropriate pre-arraignment motions.
This case is scheduled for status hearing to occur on August 26, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. in the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office and the trial is scheduled to begin on September 28, 2022 at 9:30 a.m. overseen by prosecutor Barbara Whaley.