Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Wednesday

January 16, 2013

State in Brief: 01/16/2013

Police: Son hoped to resurrect father

DETROIT — A man who was arrested in the theft of his father's corpse from a Detroit cemetery stored the body in a freezer after a weekend funeral, hoping for it to be miraculously resurrected, police said Tuesday.

Clarence Bright's 48-year-old religious son was arrested along with another man after officers found an empty casket inside their van at a gas station, Detroit police said.

"This is a very, very bizarre situation," Leon Jones, a mortician's assistant at Swanson Funeral Home, told The Associated Press. The funeral home handled Bright's funeral.

Bright's final earthly journey was supposed to end Saturday at Gethsemane Cemetery on Detroit's east side, but soggy ground from recent rain postponed the 93-year-old's burial. The casket was placed near a chapel or a mausoleum on cemetery grounds and remained there through Monday morning when it was reported stolen, Jones said.

Acting on a tip that a white van had been seen at the cemetery, police spotted one parked at a gas station Tuesday — the men and the empty casket were inside, Officer George Day said.

Paper told to give up documents in lawsuit

DETROIT — A judge has ordered the Detroit Free Press to turn over any documents that might identify the source of a story about a federal prosecutor in 2004.

Federal Judge Robert Cleland also ordered the newspaper Tuesday to make someone other than the reporter available for a deposition.

Richard Convertino says his privacy was violated when a Justice Department ethics probe was disclosed to a reporter. He's pursuing the identity of the leaker as part of his lawsuit against the government.

Free Press attorney Herschel Fink says the newspaper will comply with the order. He declined to comment about the content of any documents.

Reporter David Ashenfelter won't name his source, invoking his right against self-incrimination. The newspaper says only Ashenfelter knows the source.

Convertino no longer is a prosecutor.

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