ELYRIA, Ohio – The remains of a man who beat his wife to death and spent 12 years in prison for her slaying have been buried inches from her grave, a decision the woman's daughter calls horrifying.
The Chronicle-Telegram reports the cremated remains of Marvin Dallas were buried this year over the grave of his wife, Mary Dallas, in Elyria, as outlined in his will.
Crystal Denn, Mary Dallas' daughter from a previous marriage, noticed a patch of overturned earth at her mother's grave a few months ago. Denn checked with Brookdale Cemetery and was appalled to learn Marvin Dallas was now resting with her mother.
"Why does it make sense to bury a killer with his victim?" Denn said.
Safety Service Director Mary Siwierka said the city of Elyria, which owns the cemetery, had nothing to do with deciding where to place the remains of Marvin Dallas, who died Jan. 1 at age 60.
Elyria Law Director Scott Serazin said it's typical for husbands and wives to be buried together, but he and the funeral home didn't know Marvin Dallas was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in his wife's beating death.
Mary Dallas died Feb. 7, 1993, at a domestic violence shelter she fled to after being beaten by Marvin Dallas. According to court records, Marvin Dallas became upset with his 33-year-old wife two days earlier and had accused her of taking his wallet containing $700.
Marvin Dallas pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter and spent 12 years in prison for the killing.
Denn, who was 14 when her mother died, said she's now working to have Marvin Dallas' remains moved. Siwierka said the city is willing to waive its $650 fee to disinter remains.But Marvin Dallas' family said it has no intention of changing his final resting place.
"We're not going to move his ashes," said his sister, Shirley Hill. "That's where he wanted to be buried."
She noted that her brother was still married to Mary Dallas when she died, a fact that Denn disputes.
"As far as I'm concerned, they were divorced when he killed her," Denn said.
Denn also said she'd like to see the gravestone at her mother's final resting place changed because it's inscribed with the words "Beloved Wife."
"It should say `beloved mother' because that's what she was," Denn said.
Serazin said the burial plot is owned by Mary Dallas' brother, David Ivey, and the decision about what to do rests entirely in his hands. Ivey said he intends to contact the city to get Marvin Dallas' remains moved.
"If it's up to me, I don't want him buried there. Nobody ever consulted me," he said. "He has no right to be buried with her."