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Plea deal offered to owners of Return To Nature Funeral Home

PENROSE, Colo. (KRDO) - Relatives of the victims whose bodies were found at the Return To Nature Funeral Home building in Penrose confirmed to KRDO13 on Monday evening that a plea deal has been offered to Jon and Carie Hallford.

RELATED REPORTING: Return to Nature Funeral Home

The Hallfords owned and operated the Return To Nature Funeral Home, where nearly 200 bodies were discovered in October of 2023 after neighbors reported an odor coming from the property.

The husband and wife were arrested less than a month later, and currently face 260 criminal charges at the state level for Abuse of a Corpse, Money Laundering, Forgery, and Theft.

The plea would allow Jon Hallford to plead guilty to Counts 71-261, Abuse of a Corpse, in exchange for a sentence of 20 years in the Department of Corrections.

Carie Hallford would be allowed to plead guilty to the same charges in exchange for 15-20 years in the Department of Corrections.

The Hallfords have until October 4, 2024, to decide whether to agree to the terms of the plea offer.

At the time of this writing, the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office has not confirmed the terms sent in the email to victims Monday afternoon.

According to the email sent to victims, the next court date for the Hallfords is July 11 at 8:30 AM.

At this court date, prosecutors expect the Hallfords to enter Not Guilty pleas, leading to the setting of a trial date.

However, the email also states it's possible the Hallfords could accept the plea at this court date.

In addition to the state charges, the Hallfords also face 15 counts of federal fraud-related charges, to which they have pleaded not guilty.

The plea offer involving the state charges would allow the Hallfords to serve their sentences concurrently with any federal sentence, meaning they would be allowed to serve them at the same time instead of one after another.

When asked about the pending plea deal, Sheila Canfield Jones said, "It's disappointing but it's not unexpected."

Canfield, whose daughter was among the bodies recovered, added that the deal gives the Hallfords a little more than a month of jail time for each victim, an amount she feels is not nearly enough.

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Bart Bedsole

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