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Indictment: Lake County coroner illegally sent wife to pick up body, she didn't bring body bag

Posted: 10:29 AM, Sep 10, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-10 12:33:57-04
Shannon Kent

LAKE COUNTY, Colo. — The Lake County coroner is accused of sending his wife, who had not yet been sworn in as a coroner’s deputy, to multiple death scenes, including one in which she did not have a body bag, according to new documents.

According to an indictment, Staci Kent had been acting as deputy coroner between March 6, 2019 and July 15, 2019, but didn't take an oath or file an appointment with the county clerk until July 16, 2019.

She responded to multiple coroner call-outs from law enforcement, which include the following:

  • On March 10, 2019, law enforcement called the coroner’s office and requested assistance with a death. Staci Kent responded, but was significantly delayed because the van she was using to pick up the body had a dead battery, bald tires and was buried in snow. The van was also carrying two other bodies that needed to be removed before responding to the new call, according to the indictment.
  • On May 6, 2019, Staci Kent responded to a call for service at a home to pick up a deceased person. She did not have a body bag with her, which “led to a contentious argument with law enforcement on the scene” and a “contentious call” between Shannon Kent and Lake County Sheriff Amy Reyes, according to the indictment. Shannon Kent allegedly threatened Reyes with arrest for questioning Staci Kent’s decision to not use a body bag.
  • On June 8, 2019, Staci Kent responded to a call-out. No other details on this instance were provided.

Shannon Kent was indicted on Friday by a grand jury for second-degree official misconduct. Staci Kent was not charged as of Tuesday morning in connection to this case.

Shannon Kent was appointed to the Lake County Coroner’s Office in 2012. Coroners can appoint a deputy coroner if they choose.