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Man Awaiting Trial For Wife's Murder Wins Political Election

Man Awaiting Trial For Wife's Murder Wins Political Election

Election results issued by Boone County show Mr Wilhoite received 60 of the 276 total votes

A man awaiting trial for his wife’s murder has won his township board primary election in Indiana, securing a spot as one of three Republican candidates for a seat. 

Andrew Wilhoite, 40, is currently being held in jail without bond, having been charged in March in connection with the death of wife Elizabeth ‘Nikki’ Wilhoite. 

Election results issued by Boone County show Mr Wilhoite received 60 of the 276 total votes for Republicans for three positions on the Clinton Township Board. 

According to state election officials, it is legal for people facing felony charges to run for office, as they are only ineligible if convicted. 

Brad King, co-director of the Indiana Election Division, said: “Under our legal system, every person is innocent until proven guilty. 

“If a candidate is ultimately convicted, then depending upon the timing of that conviction, the person can be replaced on the ballot by the political party that has a vacancy.” 

Boone County Sheriff's Office

King said there was no law prohibiting a person who’s incarcerated before trial from ‘exercising the duties of their office’, should they get elected. 

He added: "How that practically gets executed will depend on the facts." 

Boone County Sheriff’s Office opened a missing persons case after receiving a call from Ms Wilhoite’s co-worker, who said she had not reported for work. Deputies conducted a welfare check at her home and conducted an ‘exhaustive search’ of the area. 

When the investigation evolved into a possible homicide investigation, Sheriff Mike Nielson contacted the Indiana State Police to ask for the department to be the lead agency, having discovered that Mr Wilhoite’s mother was a county councilwoman, which created a ‘conflict of interest’. 

Eventually Mr Wilhoite was arrested for murder by the Indiana State Police, with his wife’s body found in a creek within a few miles of their residence. 

Boone County Sheriff's Office

Sheriff Nielsen said in a statement at the time: “When our investigators realised this could be a possible homicide investigation, we wanted to do discuss the best way to move forward with the investigation since the mother of Andrew Wilhoite is a County Councilwoman, another county elected official. To avoid any conflict of interest, it was decided to contact the Indiana State Police and ask them to lead the investigation and we would assist them. 

“This is another prime example of working with our law enforcement partners to solve a horrendous crime. I cannot be prouder of our Investigations team, Crime Scene Investigations team, the entire Sheriff’s Office staff, the Boone County Prosecutor’s Office and the Indiana State Police Investigators. Please keep all families and first responders in your thoughts and prayers.” 

According to a probable-cause affidavit filed in the case, Ms Wilhoite - who had just finished chemotherapy to treat breast cancer - was hit with a 'gallon-size cement flower pot' in her face after she sought a divorce from her husband over an alleged affair.

Mr Wilhoite’s next court hearing is scheduled for 27 May. 

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Featured Image Credit: Boone County Sheriff's Office

Topics: US News