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Coroner accused of sending wife to death scenes convicted of misconduct

Shannon Kent and his wife Staci both face a trial in November for other charges including abuse of a corpse.

LAKE COUNTY, Colorado — The former Lake County coroner was convicted this month on a charge of second-degree official misconduct after he sent his wife to several death scenes in 2019, despite her not being a deputy coroner.

Shannon Kent, 45, of Leadville, was found guilty on Sept. 10 and was sentenced to six months unsupervised probation.

He was acquitted of a second charge of perjury. 

RELATED: Coroner facing charges after sending wife to death scenes

The charges stem from Kent sending his wife, Staci, to several death scenes in 2019, to act in an official capacity from March 2019 to July 15, 2019. She was never legally sworn in nor was an appointment filed with the county clerk for her to serve as deputy coroner.

>The video above is from February of this year when the Kents were arrested.

After a Grand Jury indicted him in September 2019, Kent testified that his wife had acted as the deputy coroner for approximately two years prior to July 16, 2019 — the date he filed the valid appointment with the county clerk’s office.

Credit: Summit County Sheriff's Office
Shannon and Staci Kent

Legal troubles are not over for the Kents. Both were arrested in February of this year in Silverthorne on abuse of a corpse charges after law enforcement found a deceased person in a coffin at the former Kent-Bailey Funeral Home.

It was believed to have been there for several months, decaying. 

RELATED: Lake County coroner arrested after 'decaying body' found at former business

Shannon Kent is next due in court on Sept. 23. He's also accused of providing false health/medical information and certificates. Staci Kent is due in court Sept. 27. She faces the following charges:

  • Abuse of a corpse
  • Cremation-unlawful acts
  • First-degree perjury
  • Forgery of public record filed with a public official

Several funeral homes owned by the Kents were shut down in 2020 after they were accused of keeping an unrefrigerated body, storing bags of unlabeled cremains and an abandoned still-born infant.

They both face a jury trial in mid-November.

RELATED: Prior to arrest, Lake County coroner agreed to surrender funeral home registrations

Kent was elected Lake County coroner in 2014 and reelected in 2018 he resigned effective Aug. 1 after his arrest earlier this year.