Judge frustrated by delays in trial of man accused in cemetery ripoffs
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A frustrated Duval county judge on Monday warned attorneys involved in the case of a former Atlantic Beach cemetery manager accused of grand theft to be ready for trial next month.
Judge Russell Healey said he's tired of the delays and told Nader Rayan's defense attorney that he doesn't want to hear any excuses about starting the trial on April 18.
Rayan has switched attorneys three times since his arrest last July and has twice been an hour late to his scheduled court hearings. He also told the court that he would pay restitution to the victims by last month, but that has not been done.
Rayan’s new defense attorney was assigned to take the case last week. The prosecutor, who has been on the case since last year, has now been reassigned and a new attorney will take over, so both attorneys have just a month to prepare for trial.
Rayan was arrested after an I-TEAM investigation of Beaches Memorial Park and First Coast Funeral Home found 70 complaints. Several families said they paid for grave markers, but they were never delivered.
Rayan's wife, who used to own the businesses, has also been arrested on several forgery charges.
The cemetery is now under new ownership.
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