Aggravated Burglary Charge – Bizarre Case of Mistaken Substance Identity?

Aggravated Burglary Charge

Have you ever mistaken something for something else?

We have all made mistakes, haven’t we? We have all heard of mistaken identity, too. Today, we are looking at a story about a Tennessee man who thought he was getting something else when he stole a box from his neighbors. This may be a bizarre case of mistaken substance identity.

Twenty-eight-year-old Tennessee resident, William “Billy” Cantrell, was arrested earlier this week after reportedly stealing his neighbor’s mother’s ashes during a home robbery. The Huffington Post reports:

According to a police affidavit, Cantrell took an Xbox from his neighbor, Steven Medley, along with a small box, and fled to his grandmother’s home in Nashville. The grandmother believes he wasn’t sober during the incident. The ashes were that of Medley’s mother.”

Cantrell’s mother, Kathy, allegedly told News Channel 5:

They just made it sounds like he’s a bad, terrible person broke in this house and stole this woman’s ashes. I’m not saying he’s not guilty but he didn’t know what he was stealing.”

Cantrell’s grandmother, Wanda Allen, believed that Cantrell actually thought the box of ashes was cocaine. She stated that she did not believe that Cantrell actually snorted any of the ashes.

Whether Cantrell did or did not snort the ashes is not clear. There was a paper taped over the box with the human ashes with the deceased’s name, date of birth, date of death and funeral home name.

William “Billy” Cantrell was held and charged with aggravated burglary.

This isn’t the only story of mistaken substance identity where someone has stolen human ashes thinking they were drugs. Some of those thieves were not as lucky as Cantrell.

The Huffington Post also reported about 3 men from Florida who stole the remains of a dog and a human before anyone could stop them. These 3 men had already tasted and snorted the remains.

Although this is an unusual case of mistaken substance identity, aggravated burglary is a serious charge. Having a competent and experienced criminal defense attorney is essential to fight for one’s rights.