By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Staff Writer for Philly.com
An unlicensed West Philadelphia funeral director whose mortuary was closed by the state in 2015 has been sentenced to two years’ probation and ordered to repay $5,000 to three families whose dead relatives were mishandled.
Blair Hawkins, 54, of Laurel Springs, who operated Hawkins Funeral Services at 53rdStreet and Haverford Avenue, was sentenced Tuesday by Common Pleas Court Judge Mia Roberts Perez, according to Assistant District Attorney Zachary Wynkoop.
Defense lawyer Jack McMahon could not be immediately reached for comment.
In October, Hawkins was convicted of three counts of abuse of corpse in Municipal Court and was sentenced to two years’ probation. Hawkins then sought a retrial in Common Pleas Court, but on Tuesday withdrew the appeal and was resentenced.
In August 2015, inspectors from the state Board of Funeral Directors inspected Hawkins’ facility and found three bodies covered in maggots and flies and the mortuary in disarray.
Two other Philadelphia funeral directors were shut down by the state that summer. One of them, North Philadelphia undertaker Janet Powell-Dailey, was also criminally charged. Powell-Dailey, 74, pleaded no contest to the charges and in January was sentenced to three months in prison followed by 20 months of electronically monitored house arrest and five years’ probation.
PHOTOS: ROBERT MORAN / STAFF