Colorado: Victim’s brother accused of stealing funeral money
LOUISVILLE, Colo. – The brother of a man killed while picking up roadside trash is accused of stealing $7,000 intended for the man’s funeral.
John Bright, 48, is accused of taking the money designated for the funeral of John Breaux. Breaux was killed in Louisville in January 2009 when a car hit him as he picked up litter. He was 57.
The funeral money came from the Boulder County Crime Victim Compensation Fund. Authorities said Bright had already received some $12,700 in a memorial fund from friends of the victim and lied when he applied for county funds in April.
According to the arrest affidavit, Bright cashed the $7,000 check “knowing that he had no out-of-pocket expenses for the John Breaux funeral.”
Bright told the Camera newspaper that felony theft charges filed against him are a “joke.”
“My intent was not to steal or take money at all,” Bright told the newspaper. He didn’t elaborate.
Maryan Jaross, who served on a memorial committee last year that chose a site for a statue in Louisville commemorating Breaux, questioned the charge.
“I can’t believe that David would have done this intentionally,” she said. “I know that he has really suffered because of his brother’s death.”
Friends held a pancake breakfast and a park cleanup to raise money.
Larimer County authorities filed the charges. Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett said officials there were “too close to the situation” to impartially investigate.
Money for the Victim Compensation Fund comes from fees paid by those who have been convicted of a crime and is disbursed to the counties from the state.