Kansas man convicted of providing illegal autopsies

November 4, 2021 GMT

ALMA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas man has been convicted of six counts related to illegally performing autopsies in Wabaunsee County, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said Thursday.

Shawn Parcells, 42, who lived in Leawood and Topeka, was convicted of three counts of felony theft and three misdemeanor counts of criminal desecration. He will be sentenced Jan. 10.

Parcells, a self-taught pathology assistant with no formal education, was convicted of unlawfully obtaining money from the county to perform three autopsies and of performing three autopsies without a pathologist, which violates state law.

Schmidt filed a lawsuit in 2019 accusing Parcells of contracting with Wabaunsee County to conduct autopsies and not completing them according to state law. Schmidt alleges in the lawsuit that Parcells duped at least 82 consumers.

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In November 2019, a Shawnee County judge ordered the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to catalog and store 1,600 biological samples collected by Parcells, who has been banned from performing autopsies pending the outcome of the lawsuit.

Parcells was also indicted in federal court in 2019 on 10 counts of wire fraud. The government is seeking to recover more than $1 million in fees paid to him by clients who believed they were receiving a complete autopsy report from a certified pathologist.