Arrested ex-Johnstown funeral home manager sued by former home owner over mortgage balance – The Daily Gazette
JOHNSTOWN – The former owner of the Johnstown funeral home, where the current owner was accused of mishandling human remains, is now suing the current owner for the balance of the mortgage plus interest and late fees.
According to a March 24 lawsuit filed in Fulton County Court.
The lawsuit alleges Brian M. Barnett, 35, who now faces a myriad of criminal charges for allegedly improperly storing four corpses and at least 18 containers of human remains, failed to pay his mortgage the last summer.
The lawsuit says Barnett pledged on July 2, 2014 to pay Ehle $313,000, plus 5% interest for the property, with monthly payments of $2,065.66. The lawsuit names Matthews International Corporation as Barnett’s judgment creditor.
The suit alleges Barnett made the payment due on July 2, 2021. The suit says Barnett risks losing the property if he does not respond within 20 days.
Barnett’s attorney, Ted Hartman, said he was unaware of the lawsuit. Barnett’s cell phone went straight to voicemail, and he did not return a voice and text message requesting comment. Ehle’s attorney, Benjamin C. McGuire, did not return two voicemails seeking comment.
Barnett turned himself in to police in February hours after the Johnstown Police Department announced on social media that it had an active warrant for his arrest. Barnett faces multiple charges, including grand larceny and concealment of a human corpse.
Barnett allegedly neglected to cremate the bodies and stored them at the funeral home in an effort to evade investigation, according to court documents. He also allegedly gave incorrect remains to families and took money for funeral services that were never provided, according to court documents. Additionally, Barnett is accused of concealing a decomposing human corpse on the first floor of a residence, “surrounded by children’s toys to which the child had ready access,” according to court documents.
Barnett is currently out on bail after being taken into custody following a March 1 appearance in Johnstown City Court.
Andrew Waite can be reached at [email protected] and at 518-417-9338. Follow him on Twitter @UpstateWaite.
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