Jeffersonville funeral home director pleads guilty to dozens of felony charges
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The southern Indiana man who authorities said had 31 decomposing bodies inside his funeral home plead guilty to dozens of charges of felony theft.
Randy Lankford appeared in his orange prison attire prepared to take a plea deal for the third time. This time, it happened.
Lankford agreed to plead guilty to roughly 40 charges of felony theft and services not rendered in exchange for a 12-year sentence.
At least four of those years will have to be executed, meaning the time is served either in prison or under house arrest. In this case, Lankford will be under house arrest.
After those four years, he will be eligible for probation, where he would serve out the remaining eight years.
Along with the 31 decomposing bodies, cremated remains of at least 16 other people were found inside Lankford Funeral Home in July of 2022. Something that just didn’t sit right with his victims.
“I’m just shocked really,” Derrick Kessinger said. “Speechless. I didn’t expect that.”
Kessinger lost his fiancé, father and father-in-law. He trusted Lankford while his loved ones’ remains sat inside the funeral home. He is trying to be the bigger person and hopes other families will do the same.
“It’s been tough, but I do forgive him for what he did,” Kessinger said. “I hope he can find forgiveness.”
Kessinger did eventually receive ashes.
Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said this case could have taken a long time if they didn’t reach a deal.
“We wanted to get justice for the families,” Mull said. “And this, it’s a case where there were so many charges. We had to come to some sort of resolution that got justice now for those people. My goal as the prosecutor has been simply getting him convicted, getting him sentenced to jail and getting him to the point where these people are going to get their money back.”
Mull said there is a backlog of cases because of the COVID pandemic still, and it could have been years until this case saw trial.
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