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Ohio funeral home owner pleads not guilty to corpse abuse

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — The owner of an Ohio funeral home where several bodies intended for cremation were found in a state of decay has pleaded not guilty to corpse abuse charges.

Robert Tate Jr. of Tate Funeral Services in Toledo was arraigned Tuesday on two felony counts in Lucas County court. A trial is scheduled for Sept. 8.

A message seeking comment was left for Tate’s attorney, Derek Farmer. The funeral home has maintained it provided embalming in accordance with state law.

In late May, authorities removed 11 bodies intended for cremation, including some that were stored in a damp garage.

Tate’s license was later suspended by a state board that oversees funeral homes. He also was sued by the family of a man whose body was among those in the funeral home.

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