Holland police officer bound over for trial in wife's death
January 25, 2008 - 8:30AM
HOLLAND (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - New information on a West Michigan Police Officer accused of murder. Ken DeKleine was a 13-year veteran of the Holland Police Department but now he's on the other side of the law. He's been accused of murdering his wife. One of their children found Lori DeKleine dead in the basement of their home just more than two weeks ago.
Court records show the two had been going through a difficult divorce. Lori, even took out a restraining order against Ken and told her attorney and friends she was afraid for her life.
Friday, Ken DeKleine appeared in court where a judge weighed the evidence against him. The Holland Police Officer accused of murder will stand trial for the crime. This comes after a very emotional day of testimony in court. Its very apparent this crime has devastated not only a family but many here in law enforcement.
“I reached down and touched her right elbow.. It was rigamortis had already set in.. I knew she was deceased,” said Sgt. Jeff Velthouse of the Holland Police.
Sgt. Velthouse was the first police officer to arrive on the scene. He's known both the suspect and victim for more than a decade. He was not able to keep his composure at the witness stand.
“I've known Lori as long as I've known Ken, approximately 13 years, her children and my son go to the same school,” sobbed Sgt. Velthouse.
Ken DeKleine told detectives he had been thinking about killing Lori for more than a year and that he wanted to make it look like a suicide. Court testimony indicated Ken snuck into his wife's house, a house he was court ordered to stay away from. He waited in an attic there until his kids left on the morning of January 10th. Testimony indicates Ken DeKleine strangled her with a strap in what was a big struggle.
“His intent was to wait for the children to go to school, his wife to get in the shower, to sneak into the house and to kill her,” said Michigan State Detective Sgt. Gary Miles.
After he says he killed her, DeKliene indicated he went to get a chocolate milkshake, and then later went to work at Holland Police. He did all this with a fat lip from being injured in the fight with his wife.
“He intended to cause her death to kill her.. He hoped to get away with it.. So he could spend his life with his children without her,”said Sgt. Miles.
With a confession in hand, it didn't take long for a judge to send DeKleine to trial for the crime.