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Crime and Courts

Former Lake County coroner found guilty of misconduct, sentenced to probation

Shannon Kent, 45, was sentenced to six months of probation after he sent his wife to several death scenes in 2019 even though she was not sworn in to act in that capacity.

Leadville is pictured on May 7, 2021. (Andy Colwell, Special to The Colorado Sun)
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The former coroner for Lake County — who is accused of keeping an unrefrigerated corpse in his private funeral home for several months — was found guilty on separate misconduct charges, the Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday.

Shannon Kent, 45, was sentenced to six months unsupervised probation after a jury found him guilty of second degree official misconduct, according to a news release from the office.

The charge stems from when he sent his wife, Staci, to several death scenes, acting as the county’s deputy coroner, between March and July 2019, even though she was not sworn in to act in that capacity, the office said in a statement.

Kent was acquitted of second-degree perjury, which is a felony.

Shannon Kent. (Handout)


The couple owned several funeral homes, which were shut down in 2020 after authorities found a badly decaying body in one of their private funeral homes in Silverthorne. Law enforcement also found bags of unlabeled cremains and the abandoned remains of a stillborn infant, according to the office.

He faces several charges including abuse of a corpse, official misconduct and others related to providing false health and medical information and certificates, the office said. 

Staci Kent faces charges of abusing a corpse, perjury, unlawful cremation and forgery of a public record filed with a public official. 

Kent, who resigned as coroner in April, and his wife have pleaded not guilty to charges of tampering with a human body. The couple are due in court Sept. 23.