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Posted: Tuesday, 12 August 2014 2:30PM

Not Guilty Verdicts In Green Hills Memorial Gardens Case



After less than an hour and a half of deliberation a Christian County jury has found the two local cemetery owners accused of violating graves and theft not guilty on all counts. Jason and Taunya Strader were acquitted Tuesday of all 46 counts of Violating Graves and three counts of Theft. Jason Strader says he is elated that the jury found in their favor.


   
Rick Boling, attorney for Taunya Strader, says he had no doubt that the Straders would be found not guilty.


   
Commonwealth's Attorney Lynn Pryor says she is disappointed for the families that feel that their loved ones graves have been violated.


   
Tom Osborne, attorney for Jason Strader, told the jury in his closing statement that this case is a personal vendetta against his client because of a previous incident involving Christian County Sheriff's Deputy Ed Stokes' grandmother who was reportedly disinterred without notice or permission.   


   
He explained to the jury that it is the contractual responsibility of the Straders as owners of the cemetery to remove and replace grave markers when necessary.


   
During the Commonwealth's closing argument, Pryor told the jury that the Straders are not evil people.


   
Pryor reminded the jury of testimony showing the case was not instigated by Detective Stokes.


   
The jury went into deliberations shortly before noon, returning with the verdict after 1pm. The Straders are still a party to multiple civil lawsuits at least one involving the former owner of Green Hill Memorial Gardens, Milton Marshall.

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