Sherman Hemsley “The Jeffersons’ Actor Still Not Buried, DNA Confirms Half Brother [UPDATE]
UPDATE on Nov. 1, 2012: News reports now confirm that the man who claimed he is Sherman Hemsley’s brother is the actor’s half brother through DNA results. Half brother, Richard Thorton has been partly the reason why the deceased actor Sherman Hemsley has not been buried as they have disputed the claims of his estate.
ABC News Channel 7 reported:
But Judge Patricia Chew will not consider the DNA results in the case because they were admitted a week past the Oct. 15 deadline, according to a statement by Davis.
Davis’ spokesman told ABC-7 he believes Thornton’s case is significantly weakened now because the judge will not allow the DNA test results.
A hearing in the case had been scheduled for Oct. 31 but was moved to Nov. 9 because Thornton was not able to travel to El Paso because of Hurricane Sandy.
Originally story below:
It’s been several months since ‘The Jeffersons’ actor Sherman Hemsely died in July from lung cancer, yet he has not been laid to rest. The hold up is due to a legal battle over his estate and his final resting place, report says.
Hemsley left behind an estate of nearly $50,000. He was unmarried with no children and Fox News reported he left his estate to Flora Enchinton Bernal, his “self-proclaimed business partner and live-in best friend.” However, a man named Richard Thornton came forward after Hemsley’s death, claiming to be his brother. Thornton filed a civil lawsuit calling into question the will.
A trial was supposedly set for September, but that got delayed until October in order for Thornton to get a DNA test. In addition, a woman and her son, the Rev. Michael George Wells, are insisting that the woman was a relative to Hemsley. “We are family, and we are not looking for money. But if we are entitled to something, we don’t want anyone else to have it,” Wells told the El Paso Times.
There is also a disagreement on his burial. Hemsley’s best friend Flora says he wanted to be buried in El Paso, Texas and others believe he should be buried in Pennsylvania, near his family.
A reporter from KTSM (watch video at link) spoke to Bernal’s attorney about the process. “It’s been very difficult,” Neill said. “I think she feels very responsible for Mr. Hemsley. She feels a deep desire to give him his final resting place and give him the dignity that comes with that. Obviously we’ve been delayed in order to get that resolution here, so I think it’s been a combination of very frustrating and just… very emotional and difficult for her.”
The judge is expected to make a final ruling on October 31.