DOCUMENT: Bizarre, Crime

Family Feud Funeral Fight

Stun gun diffuses brawl at rites for 80-year-old woman

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Family Feud Funeral Fight

MARCH 23--A brawl at an Indiana funeral home yesterday landed three relatives in jail, according to police.

The alleged combatants at Costin's Funeral Home in Martinsville were brothers Edward and Dennis Nail, and Edward's wife Deborah. Pictured left to right in the mug shots at left are Edward, 55, Dennis, 57, and Deborah, 57. The fisticuffs apparently came after the burial of Virginia Nail, the mother of Edward and Dennis (Virginia, who died at age 80, was a homemaker who had 12 children and 16 grandchildren).

According to a Martinsville Police Department probable cause affidavit, when cops arrived at Costin's, the brothers were 'fighting on the ground' while Deborah struck her brother-in-law with a yellow club. To break up the brawl, an officer tasered Dennis, while a second cop accidentally 'drive stunned' funeral home director Chad Skaggs, who was trying to break up the scrap.

Edward told investigators that the fight began after 'Dennis came to the funeral home and began cussing him.' He added that 'there has been trouble in the family for awhile, but the police wouldn't do anything about it.' Each of the Nails was hit with a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge. (3 pages)