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Rep. Matt Soper 'shocked' by court's decision to vacate funeral home owners' sentencing

Sunset Mesa Funeral Directors in Montrose, Colorado
Montrose Daily Press
Sunset Mesa Funeral Directors in Montrose, Colorado

The recent decision by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to vacate the sentencing of Montrose Funeral Home owners Megan Hess and her mother Shirley Koch, who plead guilty to mail fraud in one of the state’s most egregious body brokering schemes, brought out rage from Colorado State Representative Matt Soper.

In February 2018 the FBI shut down Sunset Mesa Funeral Directors and Donor Services in Montrose after complaints that the funeral home was brokering bodies and giving fake cremains to the families.

Prior to the first sentencing of Hess and Koch in January 2023, Soper sent a letter to U.S. District Judge Christine Arguello asking for the maximum amount of jail time possible. Families impacted by the crime say they are fearful that Hess and Koch may be released with time served and then return to the community.

Hess’s request for another sentencing judge was denied and their guilty pleas remain intact. The two will again face Judge Arguello for sentencing at a date to be determined.

Soper says he isn’t giving up on seeing the two women receive the most jail time possible for their crime.

Colorado legislators passed three new laws this session in an attempt to reign in the funeral home industry in the state. While he’s pleased with current legislation, Soper told KVNF that more reform is needed

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Lisa Young