2 convicted of desecrating Illinois cemetery get prison time

AP News
Posted: Apr 17, 2015 5:26 PM

CHICAGO (AP) — A judge has sentenced two brothers to prison for digging up graves, dumping human remains and reselling plots at a suburban Chicago cemetery.

Cook County Circuit Judge Joan O'Brien sentenced 51-year-old Keith Nicks to six years in prison and 44-year-old Terrance Nicks to three years Friday. They were convicted in February of desecration, removal of buried remains and removal of headstone charges.

Prosecutors said the desecration at historic Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip occurred between 2003 and 2009. The graveyard contains the burial sites of lynching victim Emmett Till, blues singers Willie Dixon and Dinah Washington, and former heavyweight boxing champion Ezzard Charles.

Keith Nicks, the cemetery's grounds foreman, blamed the desecration on disgruntled underlings.

Former cemetery director Carolyn Towns is serving a 12-year sentence. A fourth defendant awaits trial.