Trial set for cemetery owner


By Glenn Battishill - gbattishill@aimmedianetwork.com



Arminda Martin with her public defender Kingston E. Malley Jr., at the arraignment in Delaware County Common Pleas Court.

Arminda Martin with her public defender Kingston E. Malley Jr., at the arraignment in Delaware County Common Pleas Court.


An August trial has been set for one of the owners of Fairview Memorial Park.

Arminda K. Martin, 46, appeared in Delaware County Common Pleas Court Monday afternoon where she entered a not guilty plea to one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a second-degree felony; 17 counts of theft, fourth-degree felonies; 17 counts of theft, fifth-degree felonies; and three counts of theft, first-degree misdemeanors.

Arminda along with her husband, Theodore L. Martin, are the owners of three cemeteries, including Fairview Memorial Park on U.S. 23, and are accused of taking money for items and services and then spending the money and never following through with delivery.

At the arraignment, Assistant Delaware County Prosecutor Mark Sleeper said that the Martins have gambled away hundreds of thousands of dollars from the cemetery fund.

After accepting her not guilty plea,Visiting Judge Joseph Timothy Campbell, a retired Greene County Common Pleas Court Judge, scheduled Arminda to stand trial on Aug. 8.

Sleeper said the trial will likely take four or five days.

Arminda was in the Delaware County Jail Monday afternoon but will be returned to the Alderson Federal Prison Camp, where she is currently serving a one-year sentence for a federal tax evasion charge.

She is expected to be released from prison on Sept. 26, 2017.

Theodore has appeared in Delaware County Common Pleas Court on March 15 and has entered a not guilty plea to one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a second-degree felony; 27 counts of theft, fourth-degree felonies; 21 counts of theft, fifth-degree felonies and three counts of theft, first-degree misdemeanors.

According to the Ohio Revised Code the Martins could be sentenced to 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.

Theodore was also sentenced to serve a year in prison for the tax evasion case, but a judge allowed Arminda to serve her sentence first and allowed Theodore to remain free to run the three cemeteries they own.

Theodore was scheduled to stand trial on May 30, but his attorney William Leber filed a motion on May 8 asking that the trial be delayed because Theodore has been taken into custody by federal agents after they learned that he used cemetery money to post bond at the Delaware County Jail twice.

His trial has not yet been rescheduled. He was in the Dauphin County Prison on Monday.

Additionally, the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office has filed a civil suit against the Martins and is asking Delaware County Common Pleas Judge David Gormley to appoint a receiver for the cemetery so its affairs can be resolved and it can be sold.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Civil Division, Christopher Betts said last week that the receiver would be in charge of caring for the cemetery, including lawn care.

A hearing on the civil case will be held on May 19 at 2 p.m.

The Martins are also facing charges in Portage County Common Pleas Court for similar misconduct at Grandview Memorial Park, a cemetery they own in Ravenna, Ohio. Sleeper said Monday that the Martin’s cemetery in York, Pennsylvania is the subject of a federal investigation.

The Record-Courier in Portage County, reported Monday that a similar civil suit has been filed against the Martins and a judge has appointed a local attorney to oversee the cemetery.

Arminda Martin with her public defender Kingston E. Malley Jr., at the arraignment in Delaware County Common Pleas Court.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2017/05/web1_DSC_1901.jpgArminda Martin with her public defender Kingston E. Malley Jr., at the arraignment in Delaware County Common Pleas Court.

By Glenn Battishill

gbattishill@aimmedianetwork.com

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

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