Federal judge denies Montrose former funeral director’s request for sentencing delay

The empty Sunset Mesa Funeral Directors and Donor Services in Montrose, Colo., on Oct. 24,...
The empty Sunset Mesa Funeral Directors and Donor Services in Montrose, Colo., on Oct. 24, 2018 in Montrose, Colo. (KVLY)
Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 1:34 PM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - A US District Court judge denied a defense request to delay sentencing for former Montrose funeral director Megan Hess.

Hess asked the court on Nov. 11, 2022 to delay her Jan. 3, 2023 sentencing by at least 90 to 120 days.

A grand jury indicted Hess and her mother, Shirley Koch, of mail fraud in 2020.

Hess operated the Sunset Mesa Funeral Directors and an associated business called Donor Services, Inc.

The indictment accused her of getting bodies under false pretenses by offering cheap cremations. But prosecutors say she instead harvested and sold body parts in research, medical and experimental markets without surviving family member’s permission,

Court papers claim her attorney needed more time to prepare and another attorney would be out on maternity leave until March 2023.

But Senior Judge Christine Arguello turned her down.

In her decision, the judge wrote both sides have had plenty of time to prepare and that “another continuance would be wholly unfair to the victims in this case.”