UPDATE: Farmville cemetery owner charged with multiple felonies, could face up to 10 years in prison

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The owner of Crestlawn Memorial Gardens made his first court appearance Tuesday in a Pitt County courtroom.

Timothy Watson, 72 has been charged with three felony counts of Obtaining Property by False Pretenses. He is being accused of failing to deliver products and services customers purchased yet never received, according to the Pitt County Sheriffs Office.

Watson requested a court appointed attorney and was released on bond.

If convicted, Watson could face up to 10 years behind bars. Each felony count holds a maximum sentence of 39 months in prison or jail.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 5.

12/10/19

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The owner of Crestlawn Memorial Gardens was arrested by the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office Monday.

Timothy Paul Watson, 72 of New Port Richey, Florida was arrested and charged with three felony counts of Obtaining Property by False Pretenses.

Sheriff Paula Dance received information from the North Carolina Cemetery Commission regarding community members who had paid Crestlawn for items they did not received.

Watson was given a $25,000 unsecured bond and released. His first court date is set for Dec. 10.

According to the sheriff’s office, the Commission has ensured investigators victims will get the items and products from the cemetery they paid for.

12/09/19

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The owner of Crestlawn Memorial Gardens appeared in court on Monday. The cemetery was placed into receivership under the North Carolina Cemetery Commission.

Both the cemetery owner, Timothy Watson, and the North Carolina Cemetery Commission agreed to place the cemetery under receivership.

“We think this is a step forward in what we are asking for, so we are on the right track but we would not be here if it was not for Channel 9,” said Mervin Taylor.

Now, someone appointed by the Commission will manage Crestlawn. They will work to update audits and go through financial records. They will also work to get community members items they paid for but have yet to receive.

Timothy Watson’s attorney said Watson did not want to talk on camera; however, he did have this to say on his behalf:

“It is highly unlikely he will continue ownership over the long term – a receivership is simply there to make sure things are handled orderly. It doesn’t take his property from him,” said Jay Dupree, attorney. “His goal is to make sure everyone is repaid and getting exactly what they bargained for and making sure their loved ones are at peace.”

The Commission will now work to find someone to buy the cemetery in the future.

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