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Former Downard Funeral Home director in court Monday

BANNOCK COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI) - The case against former Downard Funeral Home director Lance Peck was back in a Bannock County court room Monday for another pretrial conference.

Peck, who is out on bond, did not appear, but Judge Aaron Thompson heard testimony from his attorneys who told the judge they needed even more time to put their case together.  

The case has already been continued once.

Prosecuting attorney Steve Herzog agreed to a second 90 day continuance due to the massive amount of evidence the defense has go through.  

Herzog said there are more than 4,500 pages of documents that are in evidence and more than 70 separate charges that also tie in to pending felony charges in the same case.

Judge Thompson moved the next pretrial conference to March 13, 2023.

The judge also says the court understands the complexity of the trial and is in agreement but said he also has a duty to make sure this doesn’t go on indefinitely.

He told the attorneys to make their best efforts to have the case ready in March saying he would likely not grant another continuance.

Also present in court Monday were more than a dozen of family members of the deceased.

Some of them spoke to prosecuting attorney Herzog after the hearing Monday and agreed to tell their story. They talked about how the last time they saw the body of their 93-year-old mother was when Peck picked her up after her death in August of 2022. They kept asking him where she was, and he avoided their calls and wouldn’t talk to them. They said they still don’t know where she is, if she was buried with someone else or thrown in a dumpster. Herzog told them he hopes when this is over, Peck will give them some answers. The family members talked about how hard it is for them to still not know where their mother is or what happened to her body.

One of the other family members is collecting information and stories of what has happened to these families to present in the legislature to try and get more strict laws that govern morticians so this doesn’t happen to anyone else.

Meanwhile, the investigation into the case is continuing and prosecutors have five years to file the felony charges against Peck.

Peck is facing 63 misdemeanor charges, most of them relating to the morticians code of ethics. He is currently out on bail.

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Linda Larsen

Linda is an anchor and reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.

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