Contempt hearing set for cemetery owner


A show cause hearing has been set for the owner of Fairview Memorial Park after prosecutors said he used cemetery funds twice to post bond and should be held in contempt or in jail.

Assistant Delaware Count Prosecutor Mark Sleeper filed a motion on April 26 asking that Delaware County Common Pleas Judge Everett Krueger schedule a hearing to force Theodore Lloyd Martin, 53, of Ravenna, Ohio, to show a cause that he should not be held in contempt of court or taken to the Delaware County Jail.

Martin and his wife, Arminda, are the owners of Fairview Memorial Park located on U.S. 23 and are accused of taking money for items and services and never following through with delivering the items or services.

At an arraignment on March 15, Theodore pleaded not guilty to one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a second-degree felony and 51 counts of theft, 27 fourth-degree felonies, 21 fifth-degree felonies and three first-degree misdemeanors and had his bond set at $30,000.

He posted bond the next day. However, his bond was revoked on April 30 after Sleeper informed Krueger that Theodore had used money from the cemetery accounts to secure his release from jail.

A hearing was held on April 12 and Theodore’s bond was increased to $100,000. He posted bond on April 17 and was released from the Delaware County Jail.

However, Sleeper said in his April 26 motion that the money used to post bond the second time came from various cemetery accounts and asked Krueger for a show cause hearing.

According to court documents, Krueger has scheduled a show cause hearing for May 16 at noon.

Additionally, Theodore was arrested by federal authorities on April 27.

The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office reports his arrest was related to a previous federal case and not related to his ongoing case in Delaware County Common Pleas Court.

Prosecutors said during Theodore’s arraignment that he and Arminda were both found guilty of tax evasion after a federal investigation and were each sentenced to one year in prison. However, because someone needed to run the three cemeteries run by the Martins, a judge ordered that Arminda serve her one year sentence first and Theodore would be free on bond until Arminda’s sentence was served then he would serve one year sentence.

Sheriff’s Office officials said Friday that Theodore was taken into custody by federal law enforcement for violating terms of his bond in the tax evasion case. He is reportedly still in federal custody in Pennsylvania.

Theodore’s trial is still set for May 30.

Additionally, Martin was also indicted on April 28 and charged with one count of theft, a fourth degree felony. According to court documents, Martin sold a vault and two headstones to a Delaware County woman for $5,900 and used part of that money to post bond the first time.

An arraignment for the new charge has not been set.

Arminda was also indicted with Theodore on Feb. 24 and was charged with one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a second-degree felony; and 37 counts of theft, 17 fourth-degree felonies, 17 fifth-degree felonies, and three first-degree misdemeanors.

Krueger said that Theodore faces between two to eight years in prison for the second-degree felony; between six to 18 months in prison for the fourth-degree felonies and between six and 12 months in prison for the fifth-degree felonies.

An arraignment for Arminda has not yet been set in Delaware County Common Pleas Court.

Theodore Martin Martin

By Glenn Battishill

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Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

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