POCATELLO — A pre-trial conference for the case involving the director of Downard Funeral Home has been rescheduled for Dec. 5.
According to Bannock County Prosecutor Steven Herzog, the defense team for Lance Robert Peck requested additional time to review a report Herzog said is “4,500-plus” pages long. As Herzog explained, the defense’s need for additional time also has to do with the limited case law pertaining to charges Peck faces.
“As far as I can tell, there’s never been an appellate court case rising out of any of the statutes we charged,” Herzog told EastIdahoNews.com after the originally scheduled hearing Monday afternoon. “What we got accomplished (out of this pre-trial conference) was acknowledging that it’s going to take the defense some time to review the material we’ve provided to them.”
Peck, 47, faces 63 misdemeanor charges — 59 for violating the mortician’s code of conduct, three for petty theft and one for violation of records regarding cremation.
Due to the massive report his office filed, Herzog said that Peck’s defense team requested a “reset” of a pre-trial conference that had been scheduled for Monday. Instead of holding the conference, Herzog met with family members of those affected by the alleged violations behind closed doors.
Those family members, Herzog said, posed some very good questions that he is not able to answer right now but is hopeful will be answered in time.
“At the end of the day, when everything is said and done, there will be some clarity,” he said.
Herzog was not prepared to provide a general timeline for the filing of additional charges. He said that for felony charges, his office has up to five years to file — though he is quite certain it will not take the full five years for those charges, should they be filed.
“It’s not going to be five years, but we can breathe — we’ve got some breathing room,” he said.
Though he could not give a timetable, Herzog said that his office’s investigation into possible felony charges is ongoing.