Alma, KS– A Kansas man has been sentenced to 12 months in jail and 12 months of probation on six criminal charges related to providing autopsy services in Wabaunsee County, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said today.
Shawn Parcells, 43, who has resided in Leawood and Topeka, was sentenced yesterday by Wabaunsee County District Court Judge Jeffrey Elder to serve 12 months in the Wabaunsee County Jail for each of three counts of misdemeanor criminal desecration, to be served concurrently and 12 months of probation for each of three counts of felony theft. Judge Elder ordered Parcells to serve the sentence for the three theft convictions concurrently with his 69-month federal prison sentence on a related felony wire fraud conviction. The sentences for the criminal desecration convictions will run consecutive to the federal prison sentence, meaning Parcells will serve 12 months in the county jail after his release from federal custody. Parcells had been previously sentenced in September in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas on one count of wire fraud based on similar conduct.
Parcells was convicted on the state charges on November 4, 2021, after a three-day trial in Wabaunsee County District Court. The jury found that Parcells unlawfully obtained money from Wabaunsee County to perform autopsies in three cases. In addition, Parcells had unauthorized control of the bodies and performed autopsies in three instances without a pathologist performing the autopsies, a violation of state law. The crimes took place in 2014 and 2015.
The criminal case was prosecuted by former Deputy Attorney General Steven Karrer and Deputy Attorney General Stacy Edwards of the Fraud and Abuse Litigation Division of Schmidt’s office, and Wabaunsee County Attorney Tim Liesmann.
In a separate civil case filed by the attorney general in Shawnee County District Court, Parcells and three corporate entities he controlled were permanently banned in August from doing business in Kansas and ordered to pay more than $250,000 in restitution to 82 consumers related to private autopsy services, more than $49,000 in damages to Wabaunsee County and $400,000 in civil penalties for violating the Kansas Consumer Protection Act and the Kansas False Claims Act.
The civil case against Parcells was handled by Assistant Attorney General Melanie Jack of Schmidt’s office. Copies of the consent judgments are available at www.inyourcornerkansas.org/judgments.