Judge Rules Sherman Hemsley’s Will Is Legitimate

Court says pioneering actor can finally be buried. 

Posted: 11/12/2012 09:00 AM EST
Sherman Hemsley

This past Friday, a Texas judge said that the longtime friend of deceased actor Sherman Hemsley can proceed with his burial and running his estate. The court’s decision shot down the objections of Hemsley’s half-brother.


Hemsley, who famously played George Jefferson on the TV sitcom The Jeffersons, died of lung cancer on July 24. Since then, his body has been in refrigerated storage at an El Paso funeral home.


Hemsley’s burial was delayed because the will, which he signed six weeks before dying, was being contested by Richard Thornton, who claimed to be Hemsley’s brother. Thornton, from Philadelphia, contested that the document might not have been made by Hemsley.


But Judge Patricia B. Chew decided in favor of Flora Enchinton, who Hemsley named, via his will, as the executor of his estate. Upholding the validity of Hemsley’s will, Chew granted Enchinton “the authority to dispose, I shouldn’t say dispose, to proceed with the remains of Sherman Hemsley in a manner as she wishes.”


Thorton, who a DNA test proved was Hemsley’s half-brother, wanted to bury his brother at a veterans’ cemetery in Philadelphia, where Hemsley grew up.


Following the ruling, Thornton’s attorney, Mark Davis, said he would still prevent the burial from taking place by seeking an immediate stay of Chew’s ruling.


Davis said he and Thorton would eventually seek an appeal.


BET.com is your #1 source for Black celebrity news, photos, exclusive videos and all the latest in the world of hip hop and R&B music.


Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

(Photo: Evan Agostini/Getty Images)

Videos You May Like

Related Topics

From Our Partners