Additional Charges for Woman Accused of Vandalizing Corpse

A Tulsa woman accused of cutting the face and hair of her rival's corpse faces additional charges in connection with vandalizing the woman's body.

Police say friends and family members came to the funeral home for a viewing and saw a woman standing before their loved one's body with her hands inside the casket. As the victim's mother approached, a woman she described as her daughter's "frenemy," Shaynna Lauren Sims, quickly left. The family notified police when they saw that the deceased woman's hair had been cut, makeup had been smeared, and her face suffered a long cut from forehead to nose. They also discovered that Sims had allegedly stolen the dead woman's shoes.

Police apprehended Sims at the victim's home, where she allegedly gained entrance by telling someone present that she was there to get jewelry to place on the woman's body before burial. Police say they found Sims in possession of a box cutter containing hair from the victim.

Sims, who also goes by the name of Shaynna Smith was arrested on multiple complaints related to the desecration of the corpse, fraudulent entry into her home, and theft from the body. Now, family members say they have made another shocking discovery as their loved one's body was sent for cremation.

Not only were the victim's face and hair cut, but her breasts and a toe were also cut off.

Sims is charged in Tulsa County District Court with multiple felonies and misdemeanors related to the incident:

  • Larceny from a person, a felony, in violation of 21 O.S. 1704.2
  • Concealing stolen property, a felony, in violation of 21 O.S. 1713
  • First degree burglary, a felony, in violation of 21 O.S. 1431
  • Unauthorized dissection, a misdemeanor, in violation of 21 O.S. 1155
  • Disturbing or interrupting a funeral, a misdemeanor, in violation of 21 O.S. 1166
  • Unlawful removal of a body part from the deceased, a felony, in violation of 21 O.S. 1161

The sixth count, unlawful removal of a body part, was added after the discovery that the dead woman's toe and breasts had been removed.

Larceny from a person is a type of grand larceny. In general, grand larceny is punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison. Concealing stolen property is likewise punishable by a maximum of 5 years.

First degree burglary, or unlawfully entering an occupied dwelling with the intent to commit a crime, carries a potential sentence of 7 to 20 years in prison.

Both unauthorized dissection of a body and disturbing a funeral are misdemeanors. As misdemeanor offenses, they each have a maximum penalty of one year in jail. Unlawful removal of a body part, on the other hand, is a felony. The maximum penalty for removing a body part from a corpse is 5 years in prison.

Sims was released on $10,000 bond, but a hearing is scheduled after the prosecution's motion to strengthen bond.

Image Credit: Don LaVange