By: S. Granitz / Getty Images
By JUAN CARLOS LLORCA / Associated Press
EL PASO, Texas (AP) -- A Texas judge says a longtime friend of Sherman Hemsley can proceed with burial plans for the deceased star of "The Jeffersons."
Hemsley's body has remained in refrigerated storage at an El Paso funeral home since his death on July 24.
Judge Patricia B. Chew on Friday gave longtime friend Flora Enchinton Bernal the authority to decide how Hemsley would be buried.
Chew's ruling came shortly after she upheld the validity of Hemsley's will, which granted Enchinton Bernal sole authority over his estate.
Hemsley made his name as George Jefferson on the popular TV sitcom.
Philadelphia man Richard Thornton, who says he is Hemsley's half-brother, has contested the will. Thornton's attorney, Mark Davis, said afterward he will seek a stay of Chew's ruling.