Lake County coroner, wife face more felony charges after body found at former funeral home

Shannon Kent
Photo courtesy of 5th Judicial District Attorney
Staci Kent
Photo courtesy of 5th Judicial District Attorney

Lake County Coroner Shannon Kent and Staci Kent, his wife and deputy coroner, were arrested Thursday in Leadville after law enforcement found a deceased person in a coffin at their former Kent-Bailey Funeral Home in Silverthorne.

Each is now charged with attempted tampering with a deceased human body, a class 4 felony, the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office announced Friday evening.

Authorities said they believe the deceased body had been in the Silverthorne location, at 561 Blue River Parkway, for several months. Bond is set at $10,000 and the Kents are scheduled to appear in court on March 9.

Shannon Kent was also charged with a violation of bail bond conditions, a class 6 felony, the district attorney’s office announced Friday. That alleged violation stems from an arrest on Dec. 6, 2019, in Lake County. In that case he is charged with official misconduct, a petty offense, and perjury, a felony, after a grand jury indicted him for allegedly having his wife act as a deputy coroner without proper authorization. She is charged with perjury and forgery, both felonies, in that case.

Shannon Kent, elected Lake County coroner in 2014 and reelected in 2018, voluntarily signed an agreement with state regulators in December that required him to permanently exit the funeral home and cremation businesses in Colorado, revoking his license for a chain of funeral homes. That agreement was entered after a search warrant found unsanitary and possibly unlawful conditions at his funeral home in Leadville.

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The Kents are also facing a civil lawsuit in the 5th Judicial District for allegedly co-mingling the cremains of a Leadville couple’s stillborn infant.

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