Debra A. Farinella, 57, may have the ultimate example of a case demanding a bench rather than a jury trial. It would be hard to find a jury not repulsed by the allegation that Farinella routinely stole flowers, statues, and other personal items from the graves of Mount Peace Cemetery, including graves of deceased children. This is assuming the case ever goes to trial since police say that they found Farinella’s home stuffed with the cemetary items in St. Cloud, Florida.
Grieving family members had complained that lights, candles, and other objects were routinely taken from the graves of their loved ones.
She is now facing grand theft charges. Presumably this would be third degree grand theft, but it is hard to value such items. On the basis of market value, they would obviously be lower in cost than how these families valued them. First (Degree Grand Theft covers stolen property valued at $100,000 or more, while Second Degree Grand Theft covers stolen property valued between $20,000 and $99,999. Third Degree covers property valued between $300 and $19,999 and comes with a maximum of 5 years in jail and a $5,000 fine.