WALKER COUNTY, Ga. - The granddaughter of one of Ray Brent Marsh’s victims says she’ll never forgive him for what he did to her family.
The body of Veronica Lively’s grandmother, along with more than 300 others, was found on the property belonging to the Tri-State Crematory in 2002.
Marsh, the crematory’s operator, was sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2004 for not cremating the bodies. He was convicted on various charges, including theft by deception, abusing a corpse, burial service-related fraud and giving false statements.
Lively says she’s dreaded the day of Marsh’s release.
“I can’t forgive him. If he had done it to me, I’d forgive him. I don’t forgive you for doing it to my family. I can’t. I won’t,” she said.
Marsh was released Wednesday after serving out his sentence. He will now move in with his mother, on the property where the now-closed Tri-State Crematory was located.
His lawyer wouldn’t let him answer questions as he returned to Walker County, saying simply that Marsh hopes the county will forgive him.
“He hopes and prays that everybody forgives and that they do the Christian thing. To err is human, to forgive divine, and that's the message he wants to say today,” attorney Stuart James said.
Lively wore a T-shirt with a picture of her grandmother, Helen McKin, as she talked about the nightmare their family has gone through.
“My family served, my family. He got a 12-year sentence. My family got a lifetime sentence of hard. Nobody will ever know the extent of the horror that was up there,” she said.
She says it all started when she got what she thought were her grandmother’s remains, and it turned out to be concrete dust.
“It’s really scary to be in the same community with a person who could do that. What else is he capable of?” Lively said.
Marsh will be on probation for the rest of his life, but his lawyer says he’s glad to be out.
“He's happy. He wants to be home. He wants to see his family,” attorney McCracken Poston said.
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