DA: No charges for grave rocker
A man who filmed himself dancing on a burial vault at a cemetery in order to win concert tickets will not face criminal charges, the Mesa County District Attorney’s office said Tuesday.
Christopher Redd, 27, of Clifton, had been the focus of a criminal investigation by the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department, which was recently referred to prosecutors for a charging decision. Chief Deputy District Attorney Trish Mahre said the investigation showed Redd was standing atop an empty burial vault — and not a casket with a body inside — as seen on a video recorded in July at Grand Junction’s Memorial Gardens, 2970 North Ave.
Moreover, management-level employees at Memorial Gardens were “involved with or aware” of the making of Redd’s video, Mahre said.
In order to prove the crime of desecration of venerated objects — a low-rung misdemeanor — prosecutors would have to show that people who were likely to first see Redd’s video would probably find it offensive, Mahre said.
“It appears this was done with management’s consent and that’s an important piece of evidence for us to assess,” the prosecutor said. “This did not seem to outrage their sensibilities at the time this happened.”
Memorial Gardens on Tuesday referred The Daily Sentinel’s request for comment on the Redd investigation to a corporate spokesperson, who did not return a phone call Tuesday.
The Sheriff’s Department opened an investigation after a report was filed July 27 by relatives of a woman who was buried at the cemetery July 23. In an interview with The Daily Sentinel, Redd said a time and date stamp on the video showed it was created July 22 on his cell phone.
Mahre on Tuesday said the investigation confirmed a woman was buried at the grave in question in Redd’s case, one day after he made the video.
A temporary service employee, Redd said he was fired in August.
Redd has said he first tried to post the video to Youtube.com as part of a lypsynch contest in an effort to win tickets to July’s Rock Jam festival, but he was unable to do so. He instead posted it to his Facebook page.
The video shows Redd standing on a burial vault, which was first thought by an investigating Sheriff’s Department deputy to be a casket, using a shovel to simulate a guitar.