Four arrested at funeral

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 11, 2005

A disagreement at a Eutaw funeral home turned ugly last week as the argument led to fists. Over the weekend Greene County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a call at Gandy Funeral home when a disagreement over the handling of a funeral resulted in a free for all that eventually saw five people arrested Sunday.

When all was said and done Deloris Rancher, 27, of Jacksonville, Fla., Yasmine Rancher, 26, of Birmingham, Dondiago Rancher, 23, of Birmingham, Breygene Hall, 19, of Birmingham and Terrell Jackson, 25, of Jacksonville, Fla. were all taken to Greene County Jail and charged with assault.

Isaac said the department got the call and responded immediately.

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“On Jan. 3 Billie Jean Wallace of Boligee reported an assault,” Isaac said. “She was attacked at a funeral home by some relatives of her husband. She states she was trying to make arrangements for her husband’s aunt Penny Rancher. While she was there a confrontation ensued and she said they jumped on her.”

The fact that Wallace had been making arrangements at the funeral was apparently more than the relatives could handle. While Wallace was making arrangements for Penny Rancher, the aunt of her husband Frank, tempers flared with other family members who felt they should have been in charge and reached a boiling point. When the struggle ensued Penny Ranchers sisters and one outsider ganged up on Wallace.

Greene County Sheriff Johnny Isaac said the relatives felt they should have been the ones handling the arrangements for the deceased and decided to express their displeasure with violence.

“The assailants were the children of the deceased who were not pleased with the arrangements,” Isaac said. “They were not happy with the way things were going. All of them have been arrested and charged with assault, third degree.”

The fight, which saw Wallace sustain injuries to her head, continued until relatives, funeral home employees and deputies separated them.

“There were some people there at the funeral home that broke up the fight,” Isaac said. “They called the police and we came to break it up.”

The following day at the funeral, after charges had been filed, Isaac said all the responsible parties were picked up. Isaac said they were cooperative and no further problems occurred at the funeral.

” There were no incidents at the funeral,” Isaac said. “Everybody behaved themselves. There were no problems at the funeral at all.”

Isaac said fortunately, Wallace did not receive any broken bones, He said she was severely bruised, but should be okay.

“She had some bruises on her face,” Isaac said. “There were no broken bones, but there were still some pretty serious bruises.”

The arrested parties were released on bond and will stand trial on Feb. 16.