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Jury acquits former Lake County coroner and wife of attempted tampering with body, abuse of corpse

The Kents were both arrested in February 2021, after law enforcement found a deceased person in a coffin at the former Kent-Bailey Funeral Home.
Credit: Associated Press

CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo. — Former Lake County coroner Shannon Kent and his wife Staci Kent have been found not guilty in a case accusing the two of attempting to tamper with a deceased human body and abusing a corpse, the Fifth Judicial District Attorney's Office said.

The Kents were both arrested in February 2021, after law enforcement found a deceased person in a coffin at the former Kent-Bailey Funeral Home in Silverthrone. Silverthorne police said the man had died in July 2020. 

A jury on Tuesday found both Kents not guilty of attempted tampering with a deceased human body and abuse of a corpse, both felonies, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said the Kents left the man's body in the Silverthorne location until February 2021, when the Park County Coroner took possession of the remains. 

The Kents surrendered their license to operate a funeral home in Colorado in December 2020, according to prosecutors.

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

Shannon Kent was convicted in September 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. He was sentenced to six months unsupervised probation for that conviction.

RELATED: Coroner accused of sending wife to death scenes convicted of misconduct

Shannon Kent was elected Lake County coroner in 2014 and reelected in 2018. He resigned after his arrest in 2021.

Previous 9NEWS reporting is included in this story. 

RELATED: Lake County coroner resigns after 'decaying body' was found at his former business

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