DeKleine pleads not guilty
Trial of police officer accused of killing his wife at her home is scheduled for June
Saturday, February 2, 2008
The Holland Sentinel
MEGAN SCHMIDT firstname.lastname@example.org (616) 546-4279 http://www.hollandsentinel.com/stories/020208/local_20080202005.shtml
The Holland police officer accused of killing his wife last month has pleaded not guilty for the charge of open murder.
Ken DeKleine's defense attorney Floyd Farmer confirmed Friday that DeKleine signed a written waiver of arraignment stating his plea after his preliminary exam on Jan. 25.
As a result, an arraignment that had been set for Monday at the 20th Circuit Court in Grand Haven, has been canceled.
A jury trial has been scheduled for June 24.
DeKleine, 44, was taken into custody the day after his wife, Lori, 43, was found dead in her Calvin Avenue home's basement Jan 10. The couple had separated and were going through a divorce before Lori's death.
Farmer declined to comment on why DeKleine might enter a plea of not guilty despite having previously confessed to police that he committed the murder.
Meanwhile, a church leader acting as a spokesman for the family said Friday that DeKleine's two children, Breanne, 18, and Christopher, 16, have returned to class at Holland Christian High School.
"I don't think they are back full-time, but they're trying to get some routine back into their lives," said Brad Ward, elder at Holland Heights Christian Reformed Church.
Principal Tony Stahl said the two children were easing back into their normal schedule.
"We're working with them but also want them to take as much time as they need to," Stahl said.
Ward said the church and some individuals are working to put together a fund in the coming weeks for the children's education.
"They have lives to continue to lead and school and no source of income to do it," he said.