State Lawmaker Considering Tougher Penalties For Cemetery Owners

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(Nashville, TN) State Representative Raumesh Akbari is looking at tougher laws for cemetery owners.

She's pushing for tougher fines at problem cemeteries, and is already working on legislation prompted by what she calls overgrowth at Mt. Carmel and Hollywood cemeteries in Memphis.

Now she’s adding Galilee to her list.

“I think any legislation that can be passed to aide those who are suffering and make sure the remains of those who are gone on can be respected should be put in place,” said Akbari.

She was motivated by the words of Garland Watkins, who told us he wanted Galilee Memorial to bury his wife before his eyes and they refused.

“When you drive off you need to know your love one is in their resting place,” said Watkins.

Watkins said cemetery leaders held a ceremony under a gazebo, and insisted on burying her later.

Now they can't tell him where her body lies.

“I'm advocating for the demise of that practice,” said Watkins.

Representative Akbari says the situation at Galilee proves steps need to be taken to better police a process which has so much room for deception.

“That is the ultimate disrespect that you don't allow someone to rest in peace,” said Akbari.


  • Jets

    I think the owner needs to be altered so that all he can talk with is a high squeaky voice for the rest of his life. Behind bars and in the general prison population, it goes without saying. Max sentence with no chance of parole. It brings me to my knees thinking of the loving, grief stricken families who chose this vile place and its evil owner. He deserves the max sentence multiplied by the number of victims he’s desecrated.

  • me

    Oh My God its said that we can’t put loved ones to rest . Criminals all over now . This is why I have chosen to be creamated .

  • Memphis

    There are all kind of criminals in this world. How can you rob the dead of their final resting place? Why take money/insurance policies for plots you don’t have the space. It’s heartbreaking not knowing exactly where your love one has been laid to rest. The owner should have his final resting place in prison.

  • Truth and Justice

    The State knew what was going on for YEARS and FAILED TO STOP IT. The Department of Commerce and Insurance had the authority and the funding to prevent this continued abuse. They stood back and watched and did nothing. A crook is always going to ignore the law, but the regulators in charge to oversee that type of business once made aware (more then TWO years earlier) still allowed it to continue to operate and do damage. FIRE ALL THE DEPARTMENT HEADS AT THE STATE. Its not the laws, its the failure to act on them!!!!!

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