Indiana GOP candidate Andrew Wilhoite, accused of killing spouse, wins main from jail

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An Indiana man who’s accused of killing his cancer-stricken spouse as she was searching for a divorce received his GOP main this week from jail and will probably be on the poll in November — if he has not been convicted.

Andrew Wilhoite was charged in March with killing his spouse, Elizabeth “Nikki” Wilhoite, 41. She had accomplished her final chemotherapy remedy for breast most cancers and was searching for a divorce after she discovered her husband had been having an affair, in accordance with the Lebanon Reporter.

When the Lebanon, Ind., couple received right into a home dispute in late March, Andrew Wilhoite “allegedly struck her within the head” with a concrete, gallon-sized flower pot, positioned her in his automobile and dumped her physique in a close-by creek, in accordance with the Indiana State Police.

Regardless of the circumstances surrounding his spouse’s killing, Wilhoite — who initially lied about her whereabouts however later admitted to killing her after she attacked him, in accordance with prosecutors — received his Republican main on Tuesday for one of many three open seats on the Clinton Township Board.

Election information exhibits that Wilhoite acquired 60 votes, whereas two different Republican candidates for the three seats acquired 106 and 100 votes. No Democratic candidates had been on the poll within the Clinton Township Board main, however non-Republican candidates nonetheless may make the poll by November, WXIN-FOX59 reported.

Wilhoite, whose age is given as 39 in an Indiana State Police assertion launched in March, has been charged with first-degree homicide and is being held in Boone County Jail with out bond. If convicted, he may withstand life in jail, and even the dying penalty, in accordance with state regulation.

Wilhoite’s jury trial is scheduled to start in late August, and his title will probably be faraway from the poll if he’s convicted of a felony earlier than the overall election on Nov. 8. He additionally has the choice of eradicating his title from the poll earlier than July 15 however had not achieved in order of early Friday, data present.

Wilhoite’s lawyer will not be listed in courtroom data. The Clinton Township Board didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark early Friday.

Andrew Wilhoite raised livestock in Lebanon, about 28 miles exterior of Indianapolis, in accordance with the Reporter. He helped run the household enterprise, Wilhoite Household Farms. Nikki Wilhoite labored in dentistry, in accordance with her obituary.

On March 18, Nikki Wilhoite submitted a petition for authorized separation in Boone County Circuit Courtroom after she discovered that her husband had allegedly cheated on her, in accordance with courtroom data. In the identical week, she documented that she had completed up her final spherical of chemotherapy for breast most cancers, with which she was identified the earlier fall.

On the day she formally sought a separation from him, Andrew Wilhoite posted a photograph of his smiling spouse of 12 years, expressing his help for her as she went by means of most cancers remedy.

“This girl simply completed her final spherical of chemo right now,” Wilhoite wrote in a Fb submit that has since been made non-public. “Very pleased with you.”

The unraveling marriage turned extra tenuous a couple of week later. The farmer instructed authorities that his spouse initially attacked him March 24 and yelled at him to go away the home however that he ended up pushing her out the entrance door. Wilhoite stated that as she charged at him round 10 p.m., he reached for a concrete flowerpot within the filth and struck her with it, in accordance with the affidavit.

“Andrew was requested if Elizabeth was nonetheless respiration, and Andrew said he didn’t know as a result of he didn’t verify,” police wrote.

Not understanding what to do, Wilhoite positioned his spouse in his truck and drove to Ross Ditch, wrote Indiana State Police Detective Adam Buell. From there, “Andrew described that he drove to a bridge over the creek and threw her over the wall and into the creek,” in accordance with police. He disposed of the damaged planter alongside the freeway as he was making a corn supply, the affidavit says.

After Nikki Wilhoite didn’t report back to work, detectives had been known as to analyze her whereabouts on March 25.

“An exhaustive search of the realm with Okay-9 bloodhounds and deputies continued for a number of hours and we weren’t in a position to find Nikki,” the Boone County Sheriff’s Workplace stated in a information launch concerning the preliminary efforts. “The investigation ultimately advanced right into a attainable murder investigation.” Since Andrew Wilhoite’s mom is a county councilwoman, the sheriff’s workplace stated it requested the state police to run the investigation to keep away from a battle of curiosity.

Authorities discovered traces of blood within the couple’s bed room, and Wilhoite acknowledged that they had been combating about his extramarital affair. However the farmer initially instructed detectives that he had slept on the sofa and didn’t see his spouse earlier than he left for work the following morning, in accordance with authorities.

When detectives continued to query him and family members across the farm, he ultimately requested to talk to an lawyer, WTHR TV reported. It was at that time that Wilhoite modified his account of the occasions, acknowledging that he had hit her within the head with the planter and dumped her physique within the creek. Round 3 a.m. on March 26, Indiana State Police stated that they had recovered Nikki Wilhoite’s physique “partially submerged in roughly three toes of water” after Andrew Wilhoite instructed officers the place to seek out her.

“All indicators level to that she died at residence,” Boone County Prosecutor Kent Eastwood stated in March. “Nothing signifies that she drowned.”

The coroner later confirmed that she died of the blow to the top.

The information has rocked the agricultural group. Nikki Wilhoite’s obituary lists her partner not as her husband however because the “father of her kids.” Neighbor Laura Vaughn instructed WXIN in March that if Andrew Wilhoite is responsible, “he ought to pay severely for what he did to his spouse and mom of his kids.”

“How will you do this to the mom of your youngsters?” she stated.

Despite the fact that Wilhoite faces the homicide cost, that didn’t cease his candidacy for the township board. He nonetheless has a proper to be on the poll until he’s convicted, Brad King, co-director of the bipartisan Indiana Election Division, instructed the Tribune-Star.

“There is no such thing as a authorized purpose he can’t be a candidate,” King stated. “Below our system, you’re harmless till you’re confirmed responsible. If an individual is convicted of a felony, then they’re not eligible to be a candidate and are ineligible to carry workplace.”

Boone County Republican Chairwoman Debbie Ottinger instructed the outlet that she can not bear in mind a time when an incarcerated candidate has received a main.

“Our hope is that he asks to be faraway from the poll and we will simply change him,” she stated, “however I don’t know if anybody has talked to him about that.”

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