Julie Mott Trial: Casket brought into courtroom for demonstration during missing body trial

Lawyers want to show how corpse can be taken from casket

By Paul Venema - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - A casket identical to the one containing the body of a woman whose corpse was stolen from a San Antonio funeral home was displayed in court Thursday.

Lawyers for Mission Park Funeral Home said the purpose of displaying the casket in court was to show how a body can be stolen from a casket by breaking the hinges or tampering with it.

In August 2015, the body of Mott, 25, disappeared from her casket at Mission Park while awaiting transfer to a crematorium. Her family has sued the funeral home, alleging “negligence” and “gross negligence” on the part of Mission Park and is seeking over $ 1 million in damages.

Using the casket, they explained that the hinges on Mott’s casket had been damaged and outlined how a casket can be accessed. That, they suggested, demonstrates how someone without knowledge of a casket could cause the damage.

Though no one has ever been charged with taking the body, both defense and plaintiff’s attorneys agree that Mott’s body was stolen.

At one point, Mott’s former boyfriend, Bill Wilburn, was considered by police as a person of interest. He was questioned at length by police but never charged.

Mott’s body still has not been found.

Testimony in the trial is expected to end Friday. Closing arguments are expected begin Monday.

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