One of the owners of Fairview Memorial Park decided not to change her plea in Delaware County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday afternoon.
Arminda Martin, 46, was scheduled to appear in court for a change of plea hearing, but before the hearing began, Martin’s attorney, Kingston Malley Jr., told Delaware County Common Pleas Court Judge Everett Krueger that Martin was not ready to change her plea.
Krueger said Arminda Martin and her husband, Theodore Martin, are scheduled to stand trial next Tuesday and said he is not inclined to reschedule it.
Krueger said he had intentionally scheduled no other trials next week and said there are about 80 witnesses that have been subpoenaed to appear and testify.
He said he would give Arminda Martin until Friday to decide and tentatively scheduled a hearing at 10:30 a.m.
Theodore and Arminda Martin are the owners of Fairview and face a charge of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and numerous theft charges. Prosecutors allege the Martins sold cemetery plots and other items to Delaware County individuals, but never followed through with delivery, and instead spent the money at a casino in Pennsylvania.
Additionally, Arminda Martin was released from the Federal Prison Camp in Alderson, West Virginia last month after completing a one-year prison term following her conviction for federal tax evasion. She was taken to the Delaware County Jail upon her release. On Sept. 26, she posted bail and was released from the jail.
Theodore Martin is still serving his prison term for federal tax evasion.
Arminda Martin is charged with one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a first-degree felony, and 57 counts of theft, ranging from first-degree misdemeanors to third-degree felonies.
Theodore Martin faces one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a first-degree felony, and 77 counts of theft, ranging from first-degree misdemeanors to third-degree felonies.
Prosecutors report the charges cover 67 victims.
In September, Delaware County Common Pleas Judge David Gormley issued a ruling and ordered that Fairview Memorial Park Incorporated, the business that owns the cemetery, be dissolved and further ordered the cemetery to be sold.
Columbus attorney A.C. Strip was appointed as the receiver for the cemetery in May and reported that he is searching for someone to buy the cemetery.
The Martins are also facing civil litigation and criminal charges in Portage County, where they are accused of similar conduct at a cemetery they own in Ravenna, Ohio. A judge in Portage County has similarly appointed a local attorney to act as a receiver to care for and maintain the cemetery.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.
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