Court documents accuse well-known funeral director of owing $65K in child support

- The accusations in the court case of funeral director Noe Santana and Marcela Ortiz read like a soap opera. And to hear those involved in the case tell it there’s already been drama in court.

According to court documents, Santana and Ortiz have two daughters together and Santana owes $65,000 in back child support.

“Mr. Santana has on the oldest child not paid child support ever even though he’s been under a court order to do so," said Ortiz’s attorney Julie Ketterman.

In a statement Santana’s attorney told us, “He has paid for child support incidentals as well as expenses throughout the years. He has actual receipts and proof of these facts.”

"Judge Prine has now placed those children with Mr. Santana who is a married man who has been a married man this entire time and has done so without giving Marcela the opportunity to defend her case,” Ketterman said.

Noe Santana filed an affidavit with the court basically calling Marcela Ortiz an unstable drunk who rarely bathes.

“I’m innocent of the allegations they’ve brought against me and my story never even came out,” Ortiz said.

Ortiz says last May she asked Judge Prine if she needed an attorney for the upcoming custody hearing.
She says the judge told her no.

“I specifically remember the judge looking at her and saying you don’t need an attorney for this matter,” said Ortiz’s sister Carmen Cavazos.

When Ortiz returned to court the next month she says Judge Prine denied telling her that.

“The experience has scared me,” Ortiz said. “I’m afraid to step foot in his courtroom again.”

“My sister and I was just made a circus of," Cavazos said. “I wanted to find a crack in the wall and crawl into it.”

Noe Santana sent us tape recordings Tuesday night that he says were entered into evidence and that’s what prompted Judge Prine to give him custody of the two girls.

We told Judge Prine’s court clerk we wanted to get a response from him. So far we’ve heard nothing back.

The next court hearing is scheduled for August 15.    

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