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March 8, 2013

Jury rules in former funeral home director’s favor

Civil suit completion means Rick Pyke won’t have to pay mother money

(Continued)

JEFFERSONVILLE —

“Apparently, for this jury it s OK,” Mosley said. “I feel, and I don’t think I’m off on this, the jury got it wrong.”

He said he delivered the best case he could, and he’s left feeling sympathy for Layton.

“I feel sorry for my client,” Mosley said. “She has been through hell.”

Mullineaux also expressed his sympathies for Layton’s hardships.

“This was a tragic situation,” he said. “Mrs. Layton lost her 5-year-old daughter to cancer, and that is horrible.”

Mullineaux also said he thought the jurors did an admirable job with the difficult case.

“I think the jury did an amazing job because of all the stuff that has gone on in the past.” he said. “They were able to focus on the facts that were presented to them.”

 

THE PAST

In June, Pyke was sentenced in Clark County on 62 counts — 61 of which were felonies — of theft, fraud and for violating the state’s cremation statutes.

Pyke, then 45, was sentenced to 16 years in prison, 10 years of which was suspended. He was credited with time served, which is 789 days, or about two years and two months while he awaited sentencing in the Michael L. Becher Adult Corrections Complex. 

Pyke pled guilty to nine counts of insurance fraud, class C felonies; five counts of violating the state’s cremation statute, class D felonies; class A misdemeanors of check deception and conversion; and 45 counts of theft, class D felonies, following a multiagency investigation that began in January 2010 of Pyke-Calloway Funeral Home in New Albany and R.D. Pyke Funeral Home in Henryville.

Police arrested Pyke after authorities found five human bodies and 10 animal carcasses at his Henryville funeral home and some families learned the ashes they received after cremation were not the remains of their loved ones. Pyke also failed to provide gravestones and monuments people had purchased, and collected insurance money by informing the companies a person that held a policy was dead, but they were still alive and he kept the money.

Pyke also pled guilty to two counts of class C felony insurance fraud in Floyd County, for which he was sentenced to two years in prison followed by two years of probation.

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