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Former Cemetery Employees Charged with Selling Sub-standard Burial Plots

10/2/2003

Contact: (850) 413-2842

JACKSONVILLE-Two St. Johns County women have been charged with grand theft and scheming to defraud after investigators with the Department of Financial Services, Bureau of Funerals and Cemeteries and the St. John's County Sheriff's Office discovered the pair had allegedly sold burial plots that were located in walkways and pathways, instead of in designated burial sites.

Police say Judy Watts, 45, of 2795 Cabbage Hammock Rd., and Debra Cochran, 45, of 2040 Sara Lynn Dr., sold sub-standard burial plots for Evergreen Cemetery, 505 North Rodriguez St. in St. Augustine, where both women had been employed. At least 19 Florida families reportedly bought the sub-standard plots.

Watts is currently being held on $25,000 bond, and Cochran was released on $1,500 bond. Watts had been employed at the cemetery for over twenty years as office manager. Cochran had been Watts' assistant for three years.

Anyone with information concerning this investigation is encouraged to contact the St. John's County Sheriff's Office at 904-810-6661.