SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah man who said he buried his 90-year-old mother in a basement coal bin after promising to give her a natural burial has been sentenced to probation.

Sixty-six-year-old Pete Marker pleaded guilty Thursday to felony desecration of a human body and was sentenced to two years’ probation.

Marker was arrested in early January, after he wrote a letter to his niece saying the woman had died of natural causes on Christmas Day. He said he had promised to her a green burial to allow her body to decompose naturally.

He got nervous about burying her in the mountains near Panguitch, so he brought her body to the basement instead. Police found her in a boarded-up coal room.

Defense attorney Dale Sessions says there was no sign of foul play, and it was an appropriate resolution.

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