Crime

Former mortuary owner forbidden to work funerals

Dondre Johnson - 08/01/74 - faces a charge of contempt of court - arrested July 16, 2014. He is one of the owners of the Johnson Family Mortuary, where bodies were removed by authorities July 15, 2014. Tarrant County Jail Photo
Dondre Johnson - 08/01/74 - faces a charge of contempt of court - arrested July 16, 2014. He is one of the owners of the Johnson Family Mortuary, where bodies were removed by authorities July 15, 2014. Tarrant County Jail Photo

A state district judge has ordered Dondre Johnson, charged with corpse abuse after decomposing bodies were found at the mortuary he and his wife owned, to stay out of the funeral business, WFAA reported.

“Mr. Johnson can no longer work in funeral services while this felony case is pending,” Johnson’s attorney, Alex Kim, said after a court hearing Friday.

Dondre Johnson and Rachel Hardy-Johnson are each charged with one count of theft and seven counts of abuse of a corpse. They were arrested in July, a month after officials with the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office recovered decaying bodies from the Johnson Family Mortuary at 1051 S. Handley Drive.

Kim said he does not think the judge’s decision to prohibit Johnson from working for other funeral directors is fair. He said it will make it harder for Johnson to pay court-mandated child support.

“I firmly hold a person’s allowed to work however they want to work until they forfeit their rights, and your rights are only forfeited when you actually have a conviction,” he said.

Kim said Friday’s hearing came about after the Tarrant County district attorney’s office learned that Johnson was still working funerals in Texas. News 8 called the funeral home in question, but the owner vehemently denied ever doing business with Johnson.

A new mortuary is operating in the building where the Johnsons had done business.

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