By Helen A. Granger, staff writer
Judge Michael P. Hatty of Livingston County Circuit Court – visiting judge – sentenced Owosso funeral home owner Kevin Kregger to three years probation Sept. 18, in 35th Circuit Court.
Kregger pled no contest to selling items from the estate of Nona Geraldine Lawson and the judge ordered Kregger to pay $15,924 in restitution and court fees and costs of approximately $1,300.
Hatty acknowledged Kregger is not an attorney and does not know how probate works. He also stated that evidence from the woman, her pastor and others made it “obvious that this woman wanted this.” Mrs. Lawson first met Kregger when his funeral home – Nelson-House Funeral Home – handled the funeral of her husband, Jim, in 2004. She then approached Kregger about handling her funeral and her estate.
From that point forward, Lawson – who had no close relatives – befriended Kregger. “She was part of my family,” Kregger said describing how over the next seven years Mrs. Lawson would visit his business and he would stop by to see her. He said his children called her their “Southern Grandma.” The visits and invitations to dinner continued back-and-forth until her death in 2011.
Kregger faced up to 90 days in jail for his no-contest plea on two counts of attempted larceny from a building. The Shiawassee County Probation recommended 30 days in jail. Instead Hatty sentenced him to 30 days in jail but also held the sentence in abeyance as long as Kregger fulfills the terms of his probation. Hatty acknowledged Kregger’s spotless criminal record and numerous letters from Shiawassee County residents on Kregger’s behalf.
Along with the probation and restitution, Kregger was ordered to do 100 hours of community service.
Hatty also ordered that if Kregger complied to everything, that after one year, he could petition the court to retract that last two years of his probation, thus early termination of probation.
Due to his plea of no contest, Kregger is unable to appeal Hatty’s decision.