Kentucky Man Tries To Rob His Own Grandma’s Grave And Fails Miserably

Published August 4, 2017
Published August 4, 2017

"It hurt the family very much. They really weren't expecting it to be part of the family that did it."

Grave Robbed


Tuesday morning, in Martin County, Kentucky, two men were arrested for allegedly attempting to unearth a grave at nearby Stacy’s Cemetery, according to Lex 18. That grave belonged to Emily Howard — the grandmother of one of the very men arrested for desecrating the burial site.

A passerby noticed that the grave had been disturbed when he was walking through the cemetery last Sunday, the night the robbery occurred. The witness saw that a hole had been dug and a casket exposed but not actually opened. Authorities later noted that the casket likely remained closed because the would-be grave robbers were unable to unlock it.

The man notified the police, who investigated and soon arrested two men, James Howard, 33, and Tea Jay Luster, 26.

Martin County Suspects

Martin County Sheriff’s Office(L-R) James Howard, Tea Jay Luster, and Jennifer Luster.

When the men were booked, it became apparent that James Howard was the grandson of Emily Howard. Both men confessed to the crime at the time of their arrest.

A third person has since been arrested in conjunction with this crime: Jennifer Luster, 35, the wife of Tea Jay Luster. She has been accused of driving Luster and Howard to and from the cemetery.

All three have been charged with felony violation of a grave.

According to the arrest citation, Luster said that he was convinced by James Howard that Emily Howard had been buried with a number of valuables. Howard allegedly even offered Luster $100,000 dollars to help him dig up her grave.

Despite these claims, a family member has stated that Emily Howard was not buried with any valuables, and that all that was inside the coffin was a porcelain doll and some photos.

George Jude, Emily Howard’s grandson-in-law, told WSAZ, “It hurt the family very much. They really weren’t expecting it to be part of the family that did it.”

Next, learn about the woman who says she killed her daughter with a shotgun to save her from aliens. Then, read about Pope Stephen VI who famously unearthed the grave of his predecessor in order to put his corpse on trial.

Gabe Paoletti
Gabe is a New York City-based writer and an Editorial Intern at All That Is Interesting.