Police: Holland officer confessed to killing wife
Posted: Jan 14, 2008 07:42 AM CST
Updated: Jan 14, 2008 05:02 PM CST
By EMILY ZANGARO
HOLLAND -- Officer Ken DeKleine confessed to killing his wife during the third interview with police, according to court documents.
Bonus video: DeKleine in court
DeKleine was arraigned on open murder charges in the 58th District Court Monday. DeKleine, who has been with the Holland Police for 13 years, was arrested Friday.
Two documents revealed a great deal: testimony used to get a warrant for Ken DeKleine and a personal protection order filed by his wife.
In the documents, police said they found Lori DeKleine, 43, in the basement with a nylon strap around her neck. During the interview with police, DeKleine said he went into their house several hours before she died and waited for the kids to leave. He then confronted her in the kitchen and put the strap around her neck.
She fell to the floor and he took her to the basement and tried to make it look like a suicide. One of their children called 9-1-1 Thursday night, and police discovered her body.
In their investigation, police found blood at the scene that was Ken DeKleine's.
DeKleine should not have been at the house since Lori filed a personal protection order against Ken.
The PPO showed the judge allowed Ken to still carry weapons, and the courts said he was trying to get the order terminated.
Late Tuesday afternoon, the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department sent a release to 24 Hour News 8 acknowledging violations of the PPO had been filed with the Holland Police Department. Those cases are now in the prosecutor's hands.
Holland Police Chief John Kruithof said there were no red flags with DeKleine. "My job is to make sure that he can perform his job, and Ken did his job alright," he said. "Now, what he suppressed inside of him, yeah, I mean you can suppress something inside of you and I can be your best friend, but if you don't want me to know, I'm not going to know it."
In the courtroom sat one couple, church friends of the DeKleine's.
Amy Elwood said, "He's a good man. He just did something really bad. It's not the person we knew."
"We can't understand how this could have happened," said Thomas Elwood. Elwood and DeKleine both served in the military. In 2005, DeKleine spent a year in Iraq training soldiers.
"I can't say whether the time over there contributed to this," he said. "You wonder, though, because it's got to be traumatic in Iraq for everybody."
Kruithof said DeKleine wasn't there on active duty. "Family issues between he and his wife grew that year," he told 24 Hour News 8. "From what I believe, I don't believe he was affected by his events in Iraq. He was affected by the events that his family situation was in when he got back."