- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 20, 2015

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A Southern California man has been sentenced to state prison for stealing a hearse with a body inside before a funeral.

Prosecutors say 53-year-old Ronnie Skipper pleaded no contest Tuesday to taking a vehicle without consent. He was sentenced to about 2 ½ years in state prison.

Prosecutors say Skipper made off with the hearse last December outside Ebenezer Baptist Church in South Los Angeles. The funeral director had left the Cadillac’s engine running and stepped inside the church to make flower arrangements for the funeral of a 19-year-old shooting victim.

Family members chased down the hearse about four blocks away and when police arrived they found several people holding down the driver.

The hearse returned to the church and the funeral started just 30 minutes late.



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