Subject: Victim Oral Impact Statement by Paul Meulman
Date: August 25, 2008
Case Number: HL-08-062968-FY
I thank you, Judge Bosman, for giving me the opportunity to speak. My name is Paul Meulman. I am Lori’s father.
Ken DeKleine was highly regarded in the Holland community. His image was very important to him. However, in his private life he was obsessed with the control of his wife, his children and his assets. While Ken was in Iraq in 2005-6, Lori was relieved of his abuse and control. She regained her self-respect during that time. She was mentally healthy. When he returned, he realized that he had lost some control and he began to lose control of himself. The courts approved a Personal Protection Order, gave Lori custody of the children and possession of the house. Ken was uncompromising in subsequent divorce proceedings. In his own mind, he concluded that the murder of Lori was his best option. He carried out his plan with no mercy.
His actions have had far reaching harmful effects on the children, many family members, their friends, the Holland Police Department, Holland Heights Christian Reformed Church, the Holland community and others. Ken manipulated and deceived many people with his side of the story. He did not consider the consequences of his actions.
Our Lori did not deserve the treatment that Ken gave her throughout their marriage. She was a great person and a great mother with many God-given talents. She shared those gifts and her love with her children, her family, her church and the community. Her stories about Ken’s abuse of her were shared with only a few people. I was included in that small group.
So how has this affected me? My reaction to the trial was one of sadness. I am sad because two lives were wasted. Lori is gone from this earth. I miss her love, her hugs, her humor and our talks about life. I will miss her art work and creative writing. She took great pride in showing her dad how good she was at water skiing. In the future, she cannot keep us informed about two of our grandchildren and show her pride in their achievements. She was a wonderful teacher for her children and for me. I feel a part of me ripped away. Thoughts of this event plague my mind frequently. Sometimes I cannot concentrate. I have lost a lot my joy in doing things. I have spent many sleepless nights trying to understand Ken’s selfish acts. I have questioned my faith and trust in some people. I have wondered why the Holland Police were not more effective in protecting Lori. However, during all of this my faith in God has been strengthened through the prayers and support of hundreds of people.
Ken willfully disregarded the laws of Michigan and the laws of his God. Your Honor, his destiny here on earth is in the hands of your court and the prison system. I have left the eternal destiny of Ken in the hands of God. Lori has been the only winner in this whole ordeal as she has been released from her world of fear, abuse and violence into her Heavenly home.