Inmate's Body Remains In Storage While DOC Disputes With Funeral Home
There is confusion over a prison inmate who died months ago and what should be done with the remains.
The Oklahoma Department of Corrections said the body is the property of an Enid funeral home now, but the funeral home said the Department of Corrections is holding back money and paperwork to have the remains cremated.
In life, Donald Honeycutt was not a good man. He was a convicted rapist and kidnapper who spent much of his life behind bars, but his brother said Honeycutt has paid his debt and now it’s time for him to receive peace.
But Honeycutt can’t find peace. His body is in a freezer in Tulsa where he’s been since he died way back in October.
His brother told the warden at Dick Connor Correctional Facility that he’d like the cremation handled by Stittsworth Funeral Home in Enid.
The funeral home said the prison told them Honeycutt had $1,000 in his commissary account.
“So I called the wardens office, talked to the assistant warden. She said there was around a thousand dollars there. I explained to her our charge for cremation is 945,” said Bill Stittsworth of Stittsworth Funeral Home. “Then I was contacted later and was told that we need to step to the side, that they would deal with their contracted funeral home, the funeral home that has a contract through DOC.”
So Stittsworth and Honeycutt’s brother, Danny, put it behind them.
“And I thought it was already done in October,” Danny Honeycutt said.
Now, Stittsworth said the prison told him he’s on the hook for the cost of the cremation.
“And I said, 'my question, is what happened to the $1,000?' She says, 'we moved it around.' I said, 'move it around? What do you mean?' And she said, 'we moved it around. I can’t disclose anything further, but the money is not available,'” Stittsworth said.
Danny Honeycutt said he never signed any paperwork releasing his brother's body and was never told by the prison that his brother had any money.
The Department of Corrections has not answered News 9's questions but released a statement saying:
"Mr. Honeycutt’s family contacted DOC Oct. 30, 2019, to claim his remains, and stated they would work with Stittsworth Funeral Home in Enid. Due to the family claiming the body, this matter is now between the funeral home and Mr. Honeycutt’s family. When a deceased inmate’s family claims the remains, DOC relinquishes custody.
"As for remaining funds in Mr. Honeycutt’s offender banking account, DOC is the process of sending the balance to Mr. Honeycutt's designated beneficiary or next of kin.”
The Department of Corrections will not say how much that is, even though that information should be available as public record.
As for Donald Honeycutt, Stittsworth said, “Nobody. Nobody should be treated like this. Absolutely.”