Lincoln Man Arrested for Impersonating a Funeral Director and Illegal Voting

By: 10/11 News Email
By: 10/11 News Email

Police arrested a Lincoln man for two unusual crimes, impersonating a funeral director and illegal voting.

Authorities say Terry Kurtzhals went to the Wadlow-Rozanek funeral home November 21st claiming to be a funeral director.

They say he was even wearing a funeral director name tag. He used to work as a funeral director, but had his license revoked in 1996.

Police say he tried to take rings from his fiancee who died, but the funeral home refused to release them. They began to question him. He became upset and left. The funeral home then called police.

Police arrested him Tuesday. They also suspected him of illegal voting.

Police say someone familiar with his criminal history saw him wearing a "I Voted Sticker" on election day.

"Knowing that he was a convicted felon, they contacted police. We confirmed in fact that he was released from prison on January 1st of this year after serving for felony possession of burglar's tools. The Lancaster County Election Commission did confirm that he did in fact vote on November 6th," Officer Katie Flood said.

Convicted felons aren't allowed to vote in Nebraska until two years after completion of their sentence, parole and probation.

Flood says she doesn't recall anyone being arrested for impersonating a funeral director or illegal voting in Lincoln.

There are several steps to make sure those ineligible to vote are taken off the list. The a question, where along the way did Kurtzhals slipped through.

"I wish we could have every match be perfect, but that would mean everybody doing everything the same way, like putting their legal name down, putting their address down the same way. Things like that," Deputy Secretary of State Neal Erickson said.

The voter list is cross referenced with a criminal justice database. 10/11 did our own checking.

His 2011 felony conviction is listed on his criminal history and with the justice department. However, that conviction in not found on the Nebraska Inmate database, possibly because he served his time at the Lancaster County Jail

The district court is supposed to notify the election commission of everyone convicted of a felony.

"A variation in the data can make it so it's not a good match. Using a nickname for a first name for example is enough to make it so things don't match," Erickson said.

10/11 learned Kurtzhals has several aliases.

We actually found Kurtzhals still listed on the voter registration website. Officials say there is a separate process to remove him and it takes time.

Although these mistakes happen, the Secretary of State's office say it's not enough to influence an election.


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