Coroner enters guilty plea in theft case

Somerset, KY, (WKYT) - A surprising development in a case that shocked a lot of people.

Richard New admitted to stealing from Lake Cumberland Funeral Home where he used to work. The judge read all 26 counts…then New admitted to the crime.

“I desposited checks payable to Lake Cumberland Funeral Home into my personal account,” New told the judge during the morning court hearing.

Suspicions arose last year and then New was fired. Police spent a year investigating allegations that New was pocketing tens of thousands over a 9 year span.

“If you steal, you’ll have to concern yourself with a knock on the door the rest of your life. Because very likely someone will find out about it,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Allen Trimble.

The attorney for Lake Cumberland Funeral Home says they are saddened and disappointed by everything that has happened here. He also says he’s a friend of Richard New’s and no one is celebrating.

With the plea and diversion agreement New will avoid 10 years of prison time as long as pays restitution and performs community service. He also has 7 days to resign his position as coroner.

“Suffered some serious consequences for his wrongdoing. When you have to resign your public postion,” said Trimble.

Prosecutors say New also received money in sick time, overtime, and vacation that he wasn’t entitled to.

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