Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Officer Ken DeKleine's trial for Lori's murder - Holland PD

Jena Muelman and Keith DeKleine












Patti Ticknor [Lori's sister], and Jena & Paul Meulman [Lori's parents]





Illicit relationships complicated DeKleine tragedy
Saturday, July 12, 2008
By John Agar
The Grand Rapids Press
http://www.mlive.com/news/grpress/index.ssf?/base/news-42/121584332573900.xml&coll=6

HOLLAND -- Former Holland Police Officer Ken DeKleine, convicted Friday of killing his wife, Lori, partially blamed his broken family on her psychologist, who -- testimony showed -- had a sexual relationship with her.


But Ottawa County Prosecutor Ronald Frantz said the psychologist, John Roe, was just a focus for DeKleine's anger toward his wife, whom he sought to control.

"He knows better than to get involved with a client, that's true. I'm not going to defend that," Frantz said of Roe on Friday while addressing the jury.

Roe is not charged with any crime.

Roe's state license was suspended in February for at least six months and one day. He can re-apply for it, but re-instatement is not automatic, according to reports obtained Friday from the state Department of Community Health.

The documents detail the relationship Roe developed with Lori DeKleine, who previously was diagnosed with bi-polar mood disorder

In private practice at Westshore Family Psychology in Holland, Roe provided psychotherapy to Lori DeKleine from April to November 2004.

The following summer, they began a personal relationship while he continued to treat her, reports said.

The state said Roe "failed to recognize that a personal relationship violated the therapist-client relationship ... (and) also failed to recognize his responsibility to prevent the development of inappropriate relationships between clients and family members."

The relationship continued through March 2007 and included Lori DeKleine visiting Roe and his wife, occasionally staying overnight.

Roe also accepted gifts from Lori DeKleine, including birthday presents for his children. She also looked after his children at times, reports said.

The report said Roe and/or his spouse would meet socially with both DeKleines.

Roe, reached at home, declined to comment. State reports did not describe a sexual relationship, but a detective testified in Ken DeKleine's trial that Roe, after an initial denial, later admitted a sexual relationship with Lori DeKleine.

               




Jurors question need for Ken DeKleine trial
Saturday, July 12, 2008
By John Tunison
The Grand Rapids Press
http://www.mlive.com/news/grpress/index.ssf?/base/news-42/121584331273900.xml&coll=6

GRAND HAVEN -- With a recorded murder confession and no clear defense, some jurors questioned why former Holland Police Officer Ken DeKleine went through a trial.

"The only thing we could figure was that he just wanted everything out in the open," said jury foreman Brian DeKock. "For me, it was a very easy decision. There was so much evidence."

The jury in DeKleine's trial for killing his estranged wife, Lori, deliberated only 75 minutes Friday before finding him guilty of premeditated murder. Family on both sides of the marriage hugged each other after the verdict, the end of four days of sometimes emotional testimony.

Ken DeKleine briefly smiled at his family moments after the verdict and seemed almost resigned to the conclusion.

Lori DeKleine's sister, Patti Ticknor, embraced detectives and Ottawa County Prosecutor Ron Frantz, thanking them for countering testimony that portrayed Lori DeKleine as mentally unstable and a poor mother. They worked "to make my sister not look like a monster," Ticknor said.

Police said Ken DeKleine, a 13-year officer, was upset over his pending divorce and a personal protection order his wife had against him, and was battling for custody of his two teenage children, when he hid in her house for seven hours Jan. 10 before strangling her to death with a strap.

Lori DeKleine had described him as controlling, as well as emotionally and sexually abusive.

Testimony showed DeKleine was obsessed with a relationship his wife had with a therapist and he partly blamed his broken family on that. But the trial also revealed Ken DeKleine was having an affair that started in fall 2006.

"I felt that Ken wanted some information to be made public," Holland Police Chief John Kruithoff said about the trial.

"He thought the therapist relationship was totally inappropriate and was ruining his family. But if he is having one also, that is what is so difficult to understand what he's thinking. It doesn't make sense."

The close-knit police department still is healing from the DeKleine murder. Many officers were friends with Ken DeKleine.

"I've been here 33 years, and this has been the most difficult to deal with both personally and professionally," he said.

While Ken DeKleine talked about his wife's mental instability and need to protect his children, Frantz said the evidence failed to show any real problems with Lori DeKleine.

During the trial, Frantz's only concern was whether the jury might be sympathetic towards DeKleine. "It's so difficult to put a well-respected police officer on trial for first-degree murder.

"But the proof was very strong," Frantz said.

In the courthouse, Lori DeKleine's mother, Jena Meulman, said the family knows she now is free from a life of abuse and control.

"If anyone out there is living with abuse, or think you are, please seek help," Meulman read from a statement.

The lead police investigator on the case, Ottawa County sheriff's Detective Tom Knapp, credited Lori DeKleine with helping detectives pinpoint her husband. If she had not bitten him before being strangled, leaving his blood at the scene, he would have had a much better chance of getting away with it.











DeKleine will be sentenced to a mandatory life prison sentence Aug. 18.

Juror, colleagues react to Ken DeKleine trial
Posted by John Tunison
The Grand Rapids Press
July 11, 2008 19:45PM
http://blog.mlive.com/grpress/2008/07/juror_colleagues_react_to_ken.html

"The only thing we could figure was that he just wanted everything out in the open," said jury foreman Brian DeKock. "For me, it was a very easy decision. There was so much evidence."

The jury in DeKleine's trial for killing his estranged wife, Lori, deliberated only 75 minutes Friday before finding him guilty of premeditated murder.

Testimony showed DeKleine was obsessed with a relationship his wife had with a therapist and he partly blamed his broken family on that. But the trial also revealed Ken DeKleine was having an affair that started in fall 2006.

"I felt that Ken wanted some information to be made public," Holland Police Chief John Kruithoff said about the trial. "He thought the therapist relationship was totally inappropriate and was ruining his family. But if he is having one also, that is what is so difficult to understand what he's thinking. It doesn't make sense."

The close-knit police department still is healing from the DeKleine murder. Many officers were friends with Ken DeKleine.

"I've been here 33 years and this has been the most difficult to deal with both personally and professionally," he said.

In the courthouse, Lori DeKleine's mother, Jena Meulman, said the family knows she now is free from a life of abuse and control.

"If anyone out there is living with abuse, or think you are, please seek help," Meulman read from a statement.

The lead police investigator on the case, Ottawa County sheriff's Detective Tom Knapp, credited Lori DeKleine herself with helping detectives pinpoint her husband. If she had not bitten him before being strangled, leaving his blood at the scene, he would have had a much better chance of getting away with it.

DeKleine will be sentenced to a mandatory life prison sentence Aug. 18.

                 








Psychologist suspended; testimony shows he had affair with murdered Lori DeKleine
John Agar
The Grand Rapids Press
July 11, 2008 18:44PM
http://blog.mlive.com/grpress/2008/07/psychologists_license_suspende.html
HOLLAND-- Former Holland Police Officer Ken DeKleine, convicted Friday of killing his wife, Lori, partially blamed his broken family on her psychologist, who -- testimony showed -- had a sexual relationship with her.

But Ottawa County Prosecutor Ronald Frantz said the psychologist, John Roe, was just a focus for DeKleine's anger toward his wife, whom he sought to control.

"He knows better than to get involved with a client, that's true. I'm not going to defend that," Frantz said of Roe on Friday while addressing the jury.

Roe is not charged with any crime.

Roe's state license was suspended in February for at least six months and one day. He can re-apply for it, but re-instatement is not automatic, according to reports obtained Friday from the state Department of Community Health.

The documents detail the relationship Roe developed with Lori DeKleine, who previously was diagnosed with bi-polar mood disorder.In private practice at Westshore Family Psychology in Holland, Roe provided psychotherapy to Lori DeKleine from April to November 2004.

The following summer, they began a personal relationship while he continued to treat her, reports said.

The state said Roe "failed to recognize that a personal relationship violated the therapist-client relationship ... (and) also failed to recognize his responsibility to prevent the development of inappropriate relationships between clients and family members."

The relationship continued through March 2007 and included Lori DeKleine visiting Roe and his wife, occasionally staying overnight. Roe also accepted gifts from Lori DeKleine, including birthday presents for his children. She also looked after his children at times, reports said.

The report said Roe and/or his spouse would meet socially with both DeKleines.

Roe, reached at home, declined to comment. State reports did not describe a sexual relationship, but a detective testified in Ken DeKleine's trial that Roe, after an initial denial, later admitted a sexual relationship with Lori DeKleine.


                 








Families come together after former Holland cop Ken DeKleine found guilty of murder
The Grand Rapids Press
Posted by John Tunison
July 11, 2008 14:07PM
http://blog.mlive.com/grpress/2008/07/families_come_together_after_f.html

Ken DeKleine's brother, Keith DeKleine, embraced the victim's sister, Patti Ticknor.

When the verdict was read, Ken DeKleine showed little emotion and looked as if he expected it. He looked toward his family and showed a slight smile.

Ticknor thanked detectives and prosecutors, particularly for producing evidence that disputed Ken DeKleine's assertions that Lori DeKleine was an unfit mother.

"To make my sister not look like a monster, I can't thank you enough on behalf of my family," she said.

Ottawa County Prosecutor Ron Frantz said evidence in the case was solid, but he still worried whether the jury might somehow sympathize with Ken DeKleine.

Posted by cloudwriter on 07/11/08 at 6:08PM
So much good has come out of the tragedy in Tacoma of the police chief murder-suicide, but only because the family of the victim pressed for the full truth with a lawsuit - a wrongful death lawsuit for $75M.

That MADE things changed.

It changed our state laws for victims and police domestic violence victims. It established new federal legislation.

The most important ingredient to that change has to be the press, and the press has been very responsible regarding Lori's murder.What hasn't happened is anyone asking the hard questions... like why wasn't Ken reeled in for his violations of the protection order, and how can trained professionals so easily buy into the standard lies that a dangerous abuser tells about his victim.

As I read what officers had heard, and recall even the chief in earlier reports... no one did what they should have done or tried to find out from Lori the truth.

The chief believed Ken about Lori.

Is that his job?Or was his job to protect?

Was his job to enforce the protection order?

I think it was.

There is much more that hasn't come out regarding who knew what when and their responses to Lori. How do I know? People from Holland have written me.

Those would be valuable questions to address or flush out with a lawsuit, for the sake of the victims still living...for the sake of bringing change and making something happen good for others now. It's not so much about blame as it is about accountability.

                 











DeKleine guilty of killing wife
WOOD TV NEWS
Posted: July 11, 2008 09:55 AM CDT
Updated: July 11, 2008 06:46 PM CDT
By Joe LaFurgey
http://www.woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=8660204&nav=menu44_15_1

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) -- A former Holland police officer will spend the rest of his life behind bars with no chance of parole after his conviction for the murder of his wife.

Ken DeKleine was found guilty of first-degree murder Friday.

Testimony in the four-day trial wrapped up Thursday with lawyers on both sides giving their closing arguments Friday morning. The prosecution summed up its case by describing Ken DeKleine as a controlling, abusive husband who decided the death of his wife, Lori, would solve all his problems.

DeKleine admitted strangling Lori to death January 10 - an admission he made to investigators, family members and friends. Even his own lawyer said he did it.

Ottawa County Prosecutor Ronald Frantz told the jury DeKleine started thinking about committing the murder a year before it happened, after Lori got a personal protection order against him.

DeKleine's 16-year-old son, who found his mother's body, had to testify against his father.

Considering his confession and other evidence, why put his family through a trial? Why not plead guilty?

"You'd have to ask Mr. [Floyd] Farmer (DeKleine's attorney) about that. I can't speculate about that," said Ottawa County Prosecutor Ronald Frantz.

Problems in the couple's marriage, and DeKleine's concerns over his wife's mental state and the well-being of their children, were part of the defense. Farmer was hoping sympathy from jurors might get his client a second-degree murder conviction, which is still a life sentence but with a chance for parole.

The jury didn't buy it.

So was it worth putting the family through the trial? Farmer wouldn't comment.

24 Hour News 8 was able to contact one of the jurors who said the jury thought it was an open and shut case.

Outside the courtroom, after the verdict was read, the families of Lori and Ken DeKleine embraced. Her family used the end of the trial to send out a message they hope will allow others to avoid a similar ordeal.

"If anyone out there is living with abuse or thinks you care, please seek help," said Meulan.

                 












Ex-Police Officer Guilty of Killing Wife
WLAJ News
July 11, 2008 - 1:49PM
http://www.wlaj.com/news/guilty_12538___article.html/wife_haven.html

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (AP) - A former Holland police officer has been convicted of first-degree murder in the death of his estranged wife.

An Ottawa County Circuit Court jury deliberated for about 90 minutes Friday before returning with its verdict against 45-year-old Ken DeKleine.

Investigators say the ex-officer strangled 43-year-old Lori DeKleine after breaking into her home on Jan. 10. Her body was found with a nylon strap around the neck.

Ken DeKleine was a 13-year veteran of the Holland police force.

The first-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no possibility of parole.











Ex-Holland police officer guilty of killing wife
WSBT News, South Bend IN
By Beth Boehne
Story Created: Jul 11, 2008 at 1:39 PM EDT
Story Updated: Jul 11, 2008 at 1:39 PM EDT
http://www.wsbt.com/news/regional/24457729.html

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (AP) — A former Holland police officer has been convicted of first-degree murder in the death of his estranged wife.

An Ottawa County Circuit Court jury deliberated for about 90 minutes Friday before returning with its verdict against 45-year-old Ken DeKleine.

Investigators say the ex-officer strangled 43-year-old Lori DeKleine after breaking into her home on Jan. 10. Her body was found with a nylon strap around the neck.

Ken DeKleine was a 13-year veteran of the Holland police force.

Sentencing is set for Aug. 18.

A first-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no possibility of parole.

                 











Ex-Holland police officer guilty of killing wife
WLNS Channel 6 NEWS
Associated Press - July 11, 2008 1:24 PM ET
http://www.wlns.com/Global/story.asp?S=8661101&nav=menu25_2

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (AP) - A former Holland police officer has been convicted of first-degree murder in the death of his estranged wife.

An Ottawa County Circuit Court jury deliberated for about 90 minutes Friday before returning with its verdict against 45-year-old Ken DeKleine.

Investigators say the ex-officer strangled 43-year-old Lori DeKleine after breaking into her home on Jan. 10. Her body was found with a nylon strap around the neck.

Ken DeKleine was a 13-year veteran of the Holland police force.

Sentencing is set for Aug. 18.

A first-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no possibility of parole

                   








Ex-Holland police officer guilty of killing wife
WTOL NEWS, Toledo Ohio
Associated Press -
July 11, 2008 1:24 PM ET
http://www.wtol.com/Global/story.asp?S=8661101

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (AP) - A former Holland police officer has been convicted of first-degree murder in the death of his estranged wife.

An Ottawa County Circuit Court jury deliberated for about 90 minutes Friday before returning with its verdict against 45-year-old Ken DeKleine.

Investigators say the ex-officer strangled 43-year-old Lori DeKleine after breaking into her home on Jan. 10. Her body was found with a nylon strap around the neck.

Ken DeKleine was a 13-year veteran of the Holland police force.

Sentencing is set for Aug. 18.

A first-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no possibility of parole.

                     











Ex-Holland police officer guilty of killing wife
FOX 28 NEWS, South Bend IN
Associated Press -
July 11, 2008 1:24 PM ET
http://www.fox28.com/Global/story.asp?S=8661101



GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (AP) - A former Holland police officer has been convicted of first-degree murder in the death of his estranged wife.

An Ottawa County Circuit Court jury deliberated for about 90 minutes Friday before returning with its verdict against 45-year-old Ken DeKleine.

Investigators say the ex-officer strangled 43-year-old Lori DeKleine after breaking into her home on Jan. 10. Her body was found with a nylon strap around the neck.

Ken DeKleine was a 13-year veteran of the Holland police force.

Sentencing is set for Aug. 18.

A first-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no possibility of parole.

                     











Ex-police officer found guilty of killing wife
Posted by Muskegon Chronicle
July 11, 2008 13:21PM
http://blog.mlive.com/chronicle/2008/07/expolice_officer_found_guilty.html

GRAND HAVEN -- Jurors quickly returned a guilty verdict today for former Holland police officer Ken DeKleine in his trial for the murder of his wife.

Finding DeKleine guilty of first degree murder, they rejected a suggestion by defense attorney Floyd Farmer that they consider second-degree murder. Farmer did not deny the former Holland police officer killed his estranged wife.

"You have before you on trial a man, I think, who was between a rock and a hard place," Farmer said during closing arguments. "He was totally frustrated by what was going on and made a choice."

Second-degree murder involves a lack premeditation but allows a sentence of less than the automatic life sentence that comes with first-degree murder.

But Ottawa County Prosecutor Ron Frantz said DeKleine's misportrayed his wife, Lori DeKleine, as a bad wife and mother who was mentally unstable.

In fact, Frantz said, Lori DeKleine was simply trying to get out of a bad marriage. A judge in 2007 agreed she should get temporary custody of their two teen children and "we also know Lori was a capable and dependable co-worker at her church."

"There is indeed another side to it," Frantz said, suggesting that Lori DeKleine's had no serious mental issues.

Frantz said Ken DeKleine sought to control his estranged wife, even surreptitiously accessing her church computer two days before the death and accessing e-mail where she talked with others about her divorce and prepared for a seminar on women in abusive relationships. Lori DeKleine's case was going to be a topic at the seminar.

While she was having an affair with her therapist, Ken DeKleine also was having an affair with another woman, Richelle VanderWal.

Frantz said DeKleine had plenty of motive for the killing and having it seen as a suicide.

"His public image stays intact, there is no stalking seminar revelation and he and Richelle can now go public," he said.

While DeKleine's attorney argued he killed Lori DeKleine for the sake of the children, Frantz said that was illogical.

"How in the world would it ever be under any circumstances in your children's best interest to murder their mother," he said.

The jury began deliberations mid-morning today.

                       











Ex-Holland police officer guilty of killing wife MLive 7/11/2008, 1:18 p.m. EDT
The Associated Press
http://www.mlive.com/newsflash/index.ssf?/base/news-55/121579646077220.xml&storylist=newsmichigan

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (AP) — A former Holland police officer has been convicted of first-degree murder in the death of his estranged wife.

An Ottawa County Circuit Court jury deliberated for about 90 minutes Friday before returning with its verdict against 45-year-old Ken DeKleine.

Investigators say the ex-officer strangled 43-year-old Lori DeKleine after breaking into her home on Jan. 10. Her body was found with a nylon strap around the neck.

                 











DeKleine Guilty
WWMT NEWS
July 11, 2008 - 12:20PM
http://www.wwmt.com/news/haven_1351100___article.html/dekleine_grand.html

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The former Holland police officer accused of murder, Ken DeKleine, has been convicted by a jury in a courtroom in Grand Haven.

He has been convicted of first degree murder.

The jury's decision was expected, considering DeKleine admitted to the crime several times during the trial.

A videotaped confession aired in court Thursday where DeKleine detailed how he plotted the murder and how he actually carried it out. The tape is chilling at times, and brought many in the courtroom to tears.

As for a reason why he did this, DeKleine said he was concerned about his wife's diagnosed borderline personality disorder and that it was quote "best for everybody" that she be dead for the sake of the family's two teenage children.

DeKleine showed remorse at times during the trial but also recently said in a letter sent from jail that he was at peace with the situation and was glad his children were away from their mother.

                 











DeKleine guilty of first-degree murder
WOOD TV NEWS
Posted: July 11, 2008 10:55 AM EST
Updated: July 11, 2008 12:27 PM EST
By Joe LaFurgey
http://www.woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=8660204&nav=menu44_13_1

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) -- Ken DeKleine, the Holland Police officer who was accused of killing his estranged wife Lori in January has been found guilty of first-degree murder by a jury in a Grand Haven courtroom.

Testimony in the four-day trial wrapped up yesterday, with lawyers on both sides giving their closing arguments this morning.

The prosecution summed up their case this morning by describing Ken DeKleine as a controlling, abusive husband who decided the death of his wife would solve all of this problems.

During deliberations, the jury had the option of finding DeKleini guilty of second-degree murder or acquitting him altogether.

Ottawa County Prosecutor Ronald Frantz told the jury DeKleine started thinking about committing the murder a year before it happened, after his estranged wife got a Personal Protection Order against him.

Throughout the trial there was a lot of testimony, some of it from Ken DeKlein himself, admitting he killed his wife.

DeKleine's lawyer addressed that during his closing statement.

He said Ken DeKline was frustrated over the state of his marriage, and worried for the well-being of his children.

Stay with 24 Hour News 8 for more coverage of this story.










DeKleine guilty of killing wife
Posted: July 11, 2008 09:55 AM CDT
Updated: July 12, 2008 03:38 AM CDT
By Joe LaFurgey

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) -- A former Holland police officer will spend the rest of his life behind bars with no chance of parole after his conviction for the murder of his wife.

Ken DeKleine was found guilty of first-degree murder Friday.

Testimony in the four-day trial wrapped up Thursday with lawyers on both sides giving their closing arguments Friday morning. The prosecution summed up its case by describing Ken DeKleine as a controlling, abusive husband who decided the death of his wife, Lori, would solve all his problems.

DeKleine admitted strangling Lori to death January 10 - an admission he made to investigators, family members and friends. Even his own lawyer said he did it.

Ottawa County Prosecutor Ronald Frantz told the jury DeKleine started thinking about committing the murder a year before it happened, after Lori got a personal protection order against him.

DeKleine's 16-year-old son, who found his mother's body, had to testify against his father.

Considering his confession and other evidence, why put his family through a trial? Why not plead guilty?

"You'd have to ask Mr. [Floyd] Farmer (DeKleine's attorney) about that. I can't speculate about that," said Ottawa County Prosecutor Ronald Frantz.

Problems in the couple's marriage, and DeKleine's concerns over his wife's mental state and the well-being of their children, were part of the defense. Farmer was hoping sympathy from jurors might get his client a second-degree murder conviction, which is still a life sentence but with a chance for parole.

The jury didn't buy it.

So was it worth putting the family through the trial? Farmer wouldn't comment.

24 Hour News 8 was able to contact one of the jurors who said the jury thought it was an open and shut case.

Outside the courtroom, after the verdict was read, the families of Lori and Ken DeKleine embraced. Her family used the end of the trial to send out a message that they hope will allow others to avoid a similar ordeal.









GUILTY: DeKleine murder trial verdict, family reacts
WZZM NEWS
Posted By: Matt Campbell
Posted By: Stanton Tang
Posted By: Chris Fleszar
July 11, 2008
http://www.wzzm13.com/news/most_popular_story.aspx?storyid=95259&provider=top

A former Holland police officer faces life in prison, without parole, for the January murder of his wife. An Ottawa County jury took less than 90 minutes to find Ken DeKleine guilty of murder.

DeKleine was accused of killing his estranged wife, Lori, after bitter divorce threats and affairs on both parties.

The last day of the trial was an emotional day for both Lori and Ken DeKleines' families.

Ottawa County Prosecutor Ron Frantz spent over an hour in his closing arguments; the defense, less than ten minutes.

Just 75 minutes later the jury came back with the verdict: guilty of first degree premeditated murder, and guilty of first degree felony murder.

In his closing arguments, Frantz told jurors he had met every burden of proof. Reading from letters DeKleine wrote, and transcripts from the police interrogation.

He read, "At this time, what's your intention?" a question from the investigating detective.

"Remember we're talking about intent to kill," says Frantz. Ken DeKleine's response: "Of doing just what I did."

Much of the case rested in those letters and the interrogation.

"I know what I did was wrong," says DeKleine in a letter. "And I knew that before hand. But as I looked at my other options, this one seemed the best."

Prosecutors say DeKleine broke into his former home, hid in the attic for seven hours waiting for his kids to leave, then strangled his wife Lori in the kitchen.

DeKleine's defense attorney tried to say that Lori's affair with her therapist drove ken to the murder, but even he admitted it wasn't much to stand on.

"I am not going to be as bold or stupid as to ask you to come back with a not guilty verdict," said Bill Farmer, DeKleine's defense attorney.
With the guilty verdict came a blank stare on DeKleine's face, and simple nods of accomplishment from Lori's family.

"Please continue to pray for our families as we work our way through this deliberate act of taking the life of a mother, daughter, sister, aunt, niece and cousin," pleaded Lori's mother Jena Meulman.

And in the end, any sense of hatred seemed to melt, as Ken DeKleine's brother, Keith, embraced Lori's mother.

"We know they're held (the police) to the same standard as anyone else, and a crime like this deserves the outcome that we had today," said Frantz.

Because DeKleine was found guilty of first degree pre-meditated murder there is no possibility of parole.

His sentencing will be in mid August.

Nick Monacelli Reporting


               









Ex-Holland police officer guilty of killing wife
Detroit Free Press
ASSOCIATED PRESS
July 11, 2008
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080711/NEWS06/80711063

GRAND HAVEN, Mich.-- A former Holland police officer has been convicted of first-degree murder in the death of his estranged wife.

An Ottawa County Circuit Court jury deliberated for about 90 minutes today before returning with its verdict against 45-year-old Ken DeKleine.

Investigators say the ex-officer strangled 43-year-old Lori DeKleine after breaking into her home on Jan. 10. Her body was found with a nylon strap around the neck.

Ken DeKleine was a 13-year veteran of the Holland police force.

The first-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no possibility of parole.










Ex-Holland police officer guilty of killing wife
Battle Creek Enquirer
The Associated Press
July 11, 2008
http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080711/NEWS01/307110013/1002

GRAND HAVEN — A former Holland police officer has been convicted of first-degree murder in the death of his estranged wife.

An Ottawa County Circuit Court jury deliberated for about 90 minutes today before returning with its verdict against 45-year-old Ken DeKleine.

Investigators say the ex-officer strangled 43-year-old Lori DeKleine after breaking into her home on Jan. 10. Her body was found with a nylon strap around the neck.

Ken DeKleine was a 13-year veteran of the Holland police force.

Sentencing is set for Aug. 18.

A first-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no possibility of parole.


                 










Ex-Holland police officer guilty of killing wife
Lansing State Journal
Evening update
Associated Press
July 11, 2008
http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080711/NEWS01/807110361

GRAND HAVEN - A former Holland police officer has been convicted of first-degree murder in the death of his estranged wife.

Ottawa County Circuit Court jury deliberated for about 90 minutes Friday before returning with its verdict against 45-year-old Ken DeKleine.

Investigators say the ex-officer strangled 43-year-old Lori DeKleine after breaking into her home on Jan. 10. Her body was found with a nylon strap around the neck.

Ken DeKleine was a 13-year veteran of the Holland police force.

The first-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no possibility of parole.



















Officer Ken Dekleine and defense attorney Floyd Farmer, during jury instructions.











Defense Attorney Floyd Farmer during closing arguments.








Ottawa County Prosecutor Ronald Frantz, during closing arguments.









Jury deliberates in DeKleine trial
WWMT NEWS
July 11, 2008 - 9:30AM
http://www.wwmt.com/news/trial_1351096___article.html/charged_grand.html

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A verdict could be delivered Friday in the trial of the former Holland police officer charged with killing his wife.

The jury began deliberations Friday morning in Grand Haven.

Investigators say Ken DeKleine strangled his wife Lori to death in January. Their teenage son found his mother's body in the basement of their Holland home.

Thursday prosecutors presented their most convincing evidence in court, a taped confession.

In the video, DeKleine tells a detective how he waited for his children to leave the house, the killed his wife and dragged her body to the basement. After presenting the tape in court, the prosecution rested its case.









Jury gets DeKleine case
WOOD TV News
Posted: July 11, 2008 09:55 AM CDT
Updated: July 11, 2008 09:59 AM CDT
By Joe LaFurgey
http://www.woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=8660204&nav=0Rce

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) -- The case against former Holland Police Officer Ken DeKleine, charged with the January murder of his estranged wife Lori, has gone to the jury.

Testimony in the four-day trial wrapped up yesterday, with lawyers on both sides giving their closing arguments this morning.

The prosecution summed up their case this morning by describing Ken DeKleine as a controlling, abusive husband who decided the death of his wife would solve all of this problems.

Now, the jury must decide if Ken DeKleine will spend the rest of his life in prison. But they also have the option of second-degree murder, which could allow DeKleine to eventually get parole, or they could acquit him all together.

Ottawa County Prosecutor Ronald Frantz told the jury DeKleine started thinking about committing the murder a year before it happened, after his estranged wife got a Personal Protection Order against him.

Throughout the trial there's been a lot of testimony, some of it from Ken DeKlein himself, admitting he killed his wife.

So why go to trial?

DeKleine's lawyer addressed that during his closing statement.

He said Ken DeKline was frustrated over the state of his marriage, and worried for the well-being of his children.

He asked jurors for a lesser, second-degree conviction.

Stay with WOODTV.COM and 24 Hour News Eight for the latest in the case, including the verdict if and when it comes down.








DeKleine trial jury begins deliberations
WZZM Channel 13 News
Posted By: Matt Campbell
July 11, 2008
http://www.wzzm13.com/news/story.aspx?storyid=95250&catid=2

Grand Haven - The jury is now deliberating in the trial of former Holland Police officer Ken DeKleine, whio is charged with his wife's murder.

The jury retired for deliberations at 10:38 a.m., a little more than 90 minutes after closing arguments began.

Prosecutors say Ken DeKleine killed his wife, Lori, at their home last January. They say he staged the murder to appear that his wife killed herself.

The prosecution rested its case yesterday afternoon. Immediately afterward, the defense rested without calling any witnesses.

WZZM 13 News has crews following court developments. We will have information online and on WZZM 13 as soon as a verdict is reached.
















Officer Ken DeKleine at murder trial for his ex-wife Lori DeKleine.










Officer Ken DeKleine and his defense attorney, Floyd Farmer.









Officer Ken DeKleine and defense attorney Floyd Farmer.






DeKleine Trial: Defense calls no witnesses - Closing arguments Friday
Web Editor: WZZM Online
July 10, 2008 4:00pm
http://www.wzzm13.com/news/news_story.aspx?storyid=95213&catid=14

Grand Haven - The Defense in the DeKleine murder trial called no witness and presented no argument once the Prosecution concluded their case late Thursday afternoon.
Closing arguments will start Friday morning at 9:00AM.

In court this morning, prosecutors are showing the videotape recorded by detectives of their interview with Holland Police officer Ken DeKleine, in which they say DeKleine confesses to killing his wife.

The former officer is on trial for the murder of his wife, Lori, at their Holland home last January.

The video shows Michigan State Police detectives questioning DeKleine. On the video, DeKleine admits he was responsible and details how he carried out the murder. Jurors also heard testimony from DeKleine's older brother, Keith, who talked about the moment when Ken confessed to the murder. The men were on their way to the Zeeland Police Department after making Lori's funeral arrangements. Keith DeKleine says his brother admitted he would not be leaving the jail, and that he had killed his wife.

The trial began Tuesday in Ottawa County Circuit Court in Grand Haven. So far, prosecution witnesses have included the DeKleine's 16-year-old son, who discovered his mother's body in the basement of their home. Prosecutors say Ken DeKleine strangled Lori, then staged a suicide scene to cover the crime.

The judge says the trial could continue into next week.










Defense in DeKleine case rests without calling witnesses
Posted by John Tunison
The Grand Rapid Press
July 10, 2008 16:37PM
Categories: Breaking News, DeKleine case
http://blog.mlive.com/grpress/2008/07/defense_in_dekleine_case_rests.html

GRAND HAVEN -- The defense for former Holland police officer Ken DeKleine, accused of killing his estranged wife, called no witnesses before resting its case.

Attorney Floyd Farmer rested his case immediately after Ottawa County Prosecutor Ron Frantz finished with his last witness today.

Attorneys will give closing arguments Friday morning, followed by jury deliberation.

Prosecutors today showed Ken DeKleine's recorded confession, and a detective later read three letters he wrote to people from jail.

In them, he said he killed his estranged wife for his two teen-age children, claiming his wife suffered from depression and mental illness that put them at emotional risk.

"Yes it was still selfish in a lot of ways," he wrote. "I even feel guilty about how free I feel in so many ways."









Defense Rests In Dekleine Trial After Calling No Witnesses
FOX News
July 10, 2008
http://fox17.trb.com/news/071008-wxmi-dekleinestory,0,128818.story

GRAND HAVEN — Letters, testimony from family, and a videotaped confession show what motivated former police officer Ken DeKleine.

He's the Holland officer on trial for murdering his wife in January.

Hardly able to speak, Keith DeKleine recounts his brother's last words to him before his police confession."I did this to Lori and I'll be going to jail for along time," said Keith DeKleine. "Do what you do best and take care of my children."

The day after Ken's estranged wife Lori was found murdered in her home, he was called to a third interview with police where he changed his story. He says he lied to get one more night with his kids. This time, he told the police every detail.

"I walked over to the house, and I had the garage door opener, I opened it up a little bit, went in, went up in the attic, and waited until the kids went to school," DeKleine told the police.

Dekleine says he attacked her, chocking her with a nylon strap. She pled with him.

"Was there any conversation? She said 'Ken, think of the kids'. And I did say 'I am.'"

He even told police how he made it look like a suicide, then scrapped the idea, leaving behind what police say was a sloppy crime scene.

Ken told the police he thought the kids would be better off without Lori around. He thought she suffered from mental illness and was convinced she was having an affair with her therapist, John Roe. Police later confirmed the affair. Roe has since had his licensed suspended by the state.

Later in court, letters were read by an investigator from Ken DeKleine to a friend, Julie Smeenge, with his reflections after the murder.

"Hopefully someday they will understand a little and be able to forgive me and their mother, as for me, I'm very much at peace," DeKleine wrote.

At the end of the day, the prosecution and defense rested. The defense called no witnesses and made little argument during cross examination.
Closing statements and jury instructions will start Friday morning.



















Detective Thomas Knapp of the Ottawa County Sheriff Department, reads the letter that Officer Ken DeKleine wrote to a friend while he was in jail.


DeKleine letters show relief after wife's death

Posted by John Tunison
The Grand Rapid Press
July 10, 2008 15:32PM
Categories: Top Stories

http://blog.mlive.com/grpress/2008/07/dekleine_wrote_he_felt_free_af.html

GRAND HAVEN -- In letters he wrote from the Kent County Jail, former Holland police officer Ken DeKleine described feeling free after killing his wife.

"I feel so free. I am not worried about what (Lori DeKleine) is doing to the kids anymore by her lies, blackmail and extortion," he wrote to one person.

"Yes, I hurt a lot of people, and I know I did incredible psychological damage to Bree and Troph (Christopher)," he wrote, as read by Detective Tom Knapp in court today during the trial of DeKleine for the murder of his wife.

In the letter, DeKleine said he tried everything before resorting to murder.

"They may never fully understand, hating me in some way, for what I have done," he wrote. "So many people tried talking to (Lori), but that only seemed to make things worse."

Knapp confirmed today that allegations of a sexual relationship between Lori DeKleine and her therapist were true. The therapist first denied the allegations but later admitted it, he said.






















Officer Ken DeKleine's video taped confession, taken shortly after Officer DeKleine murdered his ex-wife, Lori DeKleine.











Video tape of Officer Ken DeKleine [right] confessing to murdering his ex-wife Lori DeKleine. [Michigan State Police Detective Gary Miles is seen in lower left hand corner of video].













Michigan State Police Detective Gary Miles testifying at Officer Ken DeKleine's murder trial on July 10, 2008.





Jury hears DeKleine's videotaped murder confession

Posted By: Matt Campbell
Posted By: Stanton Tang
WZZM Channel 3 News
July 10, 2008 1:30pm
http://www.wzzm13.com/news/news_story.aspx?storyid=95192&catid=14

Grand Haven - In court this morning, prosecutors are showing the videotape recorded by detectives of their interview with Holland Police officer Ken DeKleine, in which they say DeKleine confesses to killing his wife.

The former officer is on trial for the murder of his wife, Lori, at their Holland home last January.

The video shows Michigan State Police detectives questioning DeKleine. On the video, DeKleine admits he was responsible and details how he carried out the murder.

Jurors also heard testimony from DeKleine's older brother, Keith, who talked about the moment when Ken confessed to the murder. The men were on their way to the Zeeland Police Department after making Lori's funeral arrangements. Keith DeKleine says his brother admitted he would not be leaving the jail, and that he had killed his wife.

The trial began Tuesday in Ottawa County Circuit Court in Grand Haven. So far, prosecution witnesses have included the DeKleine's 16-year-old son, who discovered his mother's body in the basement of their home. Prosecutors say Ken DeKleine strangled Lori, then staged a suicide scene to cover the crime.

The judge says the trial could continue into next week.








In taped confession, DeKleine details why he killed his wife

Posted by John Tunison
The Grand Rapids Press
July 10, 2008 13:20PM
http://blog.mlive.com/grpress/2008/07/in_taped_confession_dekleine_d.html

GRAND HAVEN -- Talking calmly with a state police detective, former Holland police officer Ken DeKleine said his wife's mental condition and his concern for his children's future drove him to strangle her.

In a 90-minute video recording played to jurors at his murder trial, DeKleine said his wife had a bi-polar condition and had made a handful of attempts at suicide. He also talked about his wife's relationship with her therapist, whom DeKleine believed was taking advantage of her.

In the interview, he described Lori DeKleine, 43, as someone who seemed to latch onto people and get closer than often they wanted. He said his daughter once told him she was concerned she would be like her mother.

Ken DeKleine talked openly about the killing throughout the conversation, telling the detective everything he asked for, including that he tried to stage a hanging suicide in his wife's basement because she had tried to commit suicide before.

"I was going to try, but I had my doubts I would be able to make it look like a suicide," DeKleine said.

After the killing, DeKleine admitted he panicked and was worried someone from Holland Heights Christian Reformed Church, where Lori DeKleine worked, might stop by.

"I realized I wasn't going to be able to do everything I wanted to," he said.

DeKleine admitted he first started thinking about killing his wife when she got a personal protection order against him in late January 2007.

"When it comes to an act like murdering your wife, like I did, it starts with a thought and that thought started in my head on Jan. 31," he said.

















Keith DeKleine [Officer Ken DeKleine's brother]











Keith DeKleine





Ex-officer admitted killing wife to brother
WOOD TV-News
Posted: July 10, 2008 09:14 AM CDT
Updated: July 10, 2008 03:31 PM CDT
By Joe LaFurgey
http://www.woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=8653487

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) -- A former Holland police officer admitted he killed his wife in a confession taped by investigators. That tape was played for the jury in court Thursday.

"Uh, she was...she said, 'Ken, think of the kids', Uh, and I did say, 'I am,'" Ken DeKleine told a State police detective the day after his wife's body was found in their home January 10.

Earlier in the day, DeKleine's brother, Keith, testified Ken also admitted the crime to the family.

"I had to do something. I did this to Lori. I will be going to jail for a long time," Keith DeKleine recalled his brother telling him the day after Ken's estranged wife Lori was found dead in the couple's home.

Under cross-examination from Ken DeKleine's attorney, Keith said Ken did it for his children.

"He was willing to sacrifice himself to save his own children," said Keith.

Keith DeKleine said his brother was worried about the care his children were getting from their mother. DeKleine claims his wife suffered from mental problems and once threatened to commit suicide.

The admission to his brother occurred as investigators came to pick up Ken for a third interview the day after Lori DeKleine's body was found January 10. A medical examiner later determined she was strangled.

Defense attorney Floyd Farmer did not call any witnesses.

Both sides put their case to rest in the afternoon. The case should go to the jury sometime Friday.









DeKleine's brother testifies that former Holland cop admitted killing wife
Posted by John Tunison
The Grand Rapids Press
July 10, 2008 10:13AM
http://blog.mlive.com/grpress/2008/07/dekleins_brother_testifies_tha.html

GRAND HAVEN - In the moments before police interviewed former Holland police Officer Ken DeKleine for a third time after his wife's death, he made a startling admission to his brother.

DeKleine told his brother and sister-in-law, Keith and Jan DeKleine, that he was responsible for his wife's death, a tearful Keith DeKleine testified today.

He talked about going to Iraq a year earlier and knowing that "somebody has to do it," Keith DeKleine said.

"For my family, I had to do something," he recalled his brother saying moments before the police interview at the Zeeland Police Department on Jan. 11, one day after Lori DeKleine's body was found in her home.

"I did this to Lori. I will be going to jail for a long time," Keith DeKleine recounted. "Do what you do best and love my children."

DeKleine told his brother he was sick of calling people and asking them to go check on Lori to make sure his kids were all right.

In a later jail interview with his brother, Ken DeKleine told him he would rather suffer than see his children suffer and was willing to sacrifice himself. Keith DeKleine said he talked about his wife's relationship with her therapist then.

Prosecutors today plan to play a recording of DeKleine's confession.














Richelle Vanderwal [Officer Kenneth Dekleine's girlfriend].







Richelle VanderWal.






Woman testifies she had secret affair with cop accused of murder
Posted by John Tunison
July 09, 2008 18:02PM
The Grand Rapid Press
http://blog.mlive.com/grpress/2008/07/woman_testifies_she_had_secret.html

GRAND HAVEN -- At the same time Ken DeKleine claimed his estranged wife was having an affair with her therapist, he was romantically involved with another woman, court testimony today revealed.


Richelle VanderWal, once married to a Holland police officer, was in the midst of a divorce in 2006 when she said she met Ken DeKleine and began a relationship that lasted until his arrest for allegedly killing his wife.


VanderWal testified today at Ken DeKleine's murder trial, describing how she met DeKleine in July 2006 and began a sexual relationship that fall, before her December 2006 divorce. DeKleine still was living at the Calvin Street address with Lori DeKleine until she filed a personal protection order in January 2007.


They kept the relationship a secret, she said.


VanderWal testified DeKleine was fixated on doing something about suspicions his wife was having a relationship with her therapist and planned to report the man to a state board. She acknowledged DeKleine was upset and frustrated with the constant rescheduling of court dates for his divorce.


VanderWal said she never came to police after DeKleine's arrest this past January to tell about their relationship. They eventually contacted her.


"I know how police think. I was afraid of being accused of her murder," she said.


In other testimony, police testified they asked DeKleine the same day of his wife's death if he killed her. He denied any involvement.


In the early morning hours of Jan. 11, in an interview room at the Zeeland Police Department, Ottawa County sheriff's Detective Tom Knapp told DeKleine they had found clothes in the garage attic with apparent blood stains. During that interview, DeKleine claimed he left items in the attic while fixing a vent pipe in 2006 and had cut himself.


When Knapp directly accused DeKleine of being responsible for his wife's death, DeKleine replied: "I don't know how to respond to that, Tom.".










DeKleine was hiding relationship with another woman
By MEGAN SCHMIDT
The Holland Sentinel
Posted Jul 09, 2008 @ 11:00 PM
http://www.wickedlocal.com/mi-holland/news/x379985600/DeKleine-was-hiding-relationship-with-another-woman

Grand Haven, MI —While Ken DeKleine obsessed over the possibility that his wife was romantically involved with her therapist, he was hiding a sexual relationship with another woman, according to testimony on Wednesday, July 9.


Richelle VanderWal testified that soon after she met DeKleine at a campground in 2006, he told her about his martial problems with wife Lori DeKleine.


Ken DeKleine, 45, stands trial this week in Ottawa County Circuit Court, accused in the Jan. 10 murder of wife Lori DeKleine, who was found dead in the basement of her home at 229 Calvin Ave., with a nylon strap tied around her neck.


For charges of first-degree murder and felony murder, he faces life in prison.

VanderWal said she encouraged DeKleine to call her if he needed to talk, and what ensued was a sexual relationship that would continue until the time of Lori DeKleine’s death.


VanderWal said she did not contact police after discovering Ken DeKleine was being held for murder because she was scared they would suspect that she was involved in his plot.


VanderWal said she was in the midst of divorcing her husband, a former Holland police officer, when she began seeing Ken DeKleine.


“I know how police think,” said VanderWal.
“What does that mean?” Prosecutor Ron Frantz asked.


“I would be accused,” she replied.


She said she and Ken DeKleine kept their relationship a secret.


During testimony Wednesday, several witnesses — many of whom identified themselves as friends with Ken DeKleine — said they never heard him mention VanderWal’s name.


Holland police officer Jose Mendoza said that when it came to relationships, in several conversations, DeKleine only spoke about his wife.


“He felt (Lori’s) therapist was brainwashing her and taking advantage of her,” Mendoza testified.

Mendoza said DeKleine also expressed anger that her therapist inspired his wife to file a restraining order again him in January 2007, and called Lori a “creative” writer.


Mendoza and several other Holland officers said that when Ken DeKleine showed up late for a training session just hours before Lori’s body was found, they noticed a cut on his lip.


Holland police officer John Weatherwax said that as Ken DeKleine was asked to repeatedly tell how he cut his lip by different officers, he became irritated.


“It was a slight annoyance to him,” Weatherwax said. “There was a hesitation to his answer — an eye roll and maybe a sigh.”


Ken DeKleine kept his answer consistent each time, saying the lid of a Dutch oven slid off a shelf and hit him.


He continued to tell that story early the next day to Detective Tom Knapp, who confronted him about his involvement in Lori DeKleine’s death.


Knapp said that throughout the interview, DeKleine leaned far back in his chair, resting his head on the wall behind him and made little eye contact.


When Knapp told DeKleine he thought he was responsible for Lori’s death, DeKleine lifted his head and said, “I don’t know how to respond to that, Tom.”


“He stated his wife had overdosed in the past and he believed she could have committed suicide,” Knapp said.


The trial continues the rest of the week.












Captain Jack Dykstra [Holland Police Department]












Officer Joel Maat [Holland Police Department]










Reserve Officer Brian Ehler [Holland Police Department]




Officer: DeKleine said kids better off without mother
Second day of testimony continues

By Staff reports
The Holland Sentinel
Posted Jul 09, 2008 @ 12:36 PM
Last update Jul 09, 2008 @ 01:07 PM
http://www.wickedlocal.com/mi-holland/news/x1346880255/Officer-DeKleine-said-kids-better-off-without-mother

Holland, MI —A Holland Police Department reserve officer testified Wednesday, July 9, that he had a conversation with Ken DeKleine in which DeKleine said his two children would be better off without their mother.

DeKleine, 45, a former Holland police officer, is on trial this week in Ottawa County Circuit Court in Grand Haven for allegedly murdering his wife, Lori, 43, in January.

Lori was found dead in the basement of her home at 229 Calvin Ave. on Jan. 10, with a nylon strap tied around her neck.

The cause of her death was determined to be strangulation.

On Wednesday, Reserve Officer Brian Ehler testified that, in a conversation, Ken said Lori was suffering from a mental disorder and that Ken felt the children would be better off without Lori.

Also Wednesday, a coroner testified that there were signs of struggle on Lori’s body that were not consistent with suicide.

Ken is a 13-year veteran of the Holland Police Department.

He and Lori had been in the midst of a divorce at the time of her death, and Ken had moved out of their Calvin Avenue home and filed for divorce in June 2007.

Lori had filed a restraining order against him in January 2007, alleging that she feared for her safety around Ken.

Ken faces life in prison if found guilty of the two charges of first-degree murder and felony murder.










DeKleine's friend: Murder suspect obsessed with role of wife's therapist
Posted by John Tunison
The Grand Rapids Press
July 09, 2008 13:17PM
http://blog.mlive.com/grpress/2008/07/dekleines_friend_murder_suspec.html

- Ken DeKleine seemed obsessed with his suspicions of a relationship between his estranged wife and a therapist, a friend of DeKleine testified today.

Brian Ehler, a Holland Police Department reserve officer who became good friends with DeKleine in 2002, said he talked with DeKleine several times in 2006 and 2007, after DeKleine returned from training police in Iraq.

In those conversations, Ehler testified, DeKleine said that he found information in his wife's diary that he said showed a relationship with the therapist.

Prosecutors say DeKleine's anger over that was one reason for DeKleine to kill his estranged wife, Lori DeKleine. Ehler and two Michigan State Police forensic analysts testified today in the murder trial of the former Holland police officer.

Testimony showed that a DNA analysis of blood found in a hallway and stairwell of Lori DeKleine's home matched that of Ken DeKleine.

His blood also was found on a gray strap that prosecutors say was the murder weapon. A sweatshirt that Lori DeKleine wore, found hidden in the garage attic, also had her husband's blood on it.

Testimony from Ehler showed that Ken and Lori DeKleine had marital difficulties dating back to 2006. The couple had separate bedrooms in their home until Ken DeKleine moved to his brother's place at some point and Lori DeKleine in January 2007obtained a personal protection order against him.

Ehler recalled one conversation where Ken DeKleine stated that his teen daughter had talked to him about not wanting to have the same mental condition as her mother.

"In that context, Ken mentioned the kids would be better off without Lori around," Ehler said.

Ehler visited DeKleine once in jail after his arrest, and said he told DeKleine he wished he could have done something to stop what happened.

According to Ehler, DeKleine replied: "You can't beat yourself up about this. I knew what I was doing."'







Officer testifies that DeKleine put tape recorder in wife's backpack
Posted by John Tunison
Grand Rapids Press
July 09, 2008 15:28PM
http://blog.mlive.com/grpress/2008/07/officer_testifies_that_deklein.html

GRAND HAVEN -- Testimony today revealed that former Holland police officer Ken DeKleine had talked with many co-workers about his marital troubles, even telling one that he put a recorder in his wife's backpack.

"He was very open about it," Officer Jose Mendoza said, testifying about how DeKleine had mentioned that his estranged wife had gotten a personal protection order against him.

DeKleine told Mendoza he thought his wife was having an inappropriate relationship with her therapist and was upset about it.

"He felt the therapist was brainwashing her and taking advantage of her. He was trying to get that to come to light so (the therapist) would lose his license."

Mendoza testified DeKleine was frustrated because court dates for his pending divorce and to rescind the protection order were continually being pushed back.

DeKleine is on trial, charged with murdering Lori DeKleine in her home on Jan. 10.

Officer John Weatherwax testified DeKleine told him he put some type of recording device in his wife's backpack to try to record information about the relationship with the therapist.







Holland police officers testify to Ken DeKleine's unhappy marriage
Posted by John Tunison
The Grand Rapid Press
July 09, 2008 23:23PM
http://blog.mlive.com/grpress/2008/07/holland_police_officers_testif.html

GRAND HAVEN -- Ken DeKleine's broken marriage and frustrations over the divorce process and his estranged wife were almost common knowledge among many Holland police officers.

"He was very open about it," Officer Jose Mendoza said.

Mendoza was one of a handful of officers who testified Wednesday in DeKleine's murder trial about talking with DeKleine about his problems, including one officer he told about planting a recording device in his wife's backpack before she visited her therapist.

By many accounts, the veteran officer believed his wife, Lori DeKleine, was romantically involved with her therapist and he wanted to get the man's state license revoked. Several said DeKleine seemed obsessed with the issue.

No one thought DeKleine would kill her, though, as prosecutors claim.

During the second day of DeKleine's trial, several police witnesses talked about how DeKleine acted in the hours after prosecutors say he strangled Lori DeKleine with a nylon strap after hiding in the garage attic of her house Jan. 10. He was at work later that day -- before anyone had discovered Lori DeKleine's body -- in a police training session that included teaching officers how to put suspects in a choke hold.

Fellow officers noticed a cut on his lip mended with stitches, but he told them the lid from a cast iron Dutch oven fell on him as he tried to retrieve it from a shelf. Prosecutors say the real cause was his wife biting him as he strangled her.

Officers who trained with DeKleine that afternoon noticed little change in his demeanor, although Detective Roger VanLiere recalled "a look about his face" he thought was odd in retrospect.

Officer John Weatherwax testified that DeKleine earlier confided in him about his frustrations, particularly that his wife had a personal protection order against him.

"He thought the PPO was wrongly obtained," Weatherwax said. "He wanted his day in court to dispute the PPO and get it reversed."

Weatherwax said DeKleine mentioned putting a recorder in his wife's backpack to "get information" about the relationship his wife had with the therapist.

Officer Mendoza testified DeKleine told him his wife's "creative writing" on a court petition, along with the therapist's help, were behind the protection order.

Prosecutors say DeKleine's anger about the January 2007 order, a custody battle over their two teen children and the issue with the therapist all set DeKleine off. He had filed for divorce shortly before the protection order was signed.

While DeKleine complained about his wife's alleged relationship, testimony showed he had an ongoing romantic relationship even before he filed for divorce.

Richelle VanderWal testified she was getting a divorce from her husband, a former Holland police officer, when she started a relationship with DeKleine in fall 2007. They kept it a secret.

She admitted she hoped their relationship would become permanent and knew DeKleine was frustrated over his pending divorce.

While Lori DeKleine's body was placed in her basement to look like a suicide, with a dangling strap tossed over some rafters but not attached to anything, Ottawa County Medical Examiner Dr. David Start said Wednesday she died from an assault and strangulation. He noted numerous bruises on her body indicating a struggle.

Detectives who interviewed Ken DeKleine in the first few hours after her body was found said he denied any involvement. When investigators confronted him about finding blood-splattered clothing in the garage attic, he claimed he left it there while working on a vent in summer 2006 and had cut himself.

Sheriff's Detective Tom Knapp told DeKleine that gloves were found, but never said what type. DeKleine volunteered that his son left "medical gloves" up there after playing with them, the exact kind found by police.






DeKleine trial: 'I know what I was doing'
WOOD-TV
updated July 10, 2008 03:02
By Joe LaFurgey
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25607751/

Lori DeKleine's death.

"Ken's response back to me was, Brian, you can't beat yourself up about this. I know what I was doing," Ehlers said on the stand in Day 2 of the trial.

Ehler also testified about a discussion he had with Ken DeKleine before the murder of his wife.

It centered on a training session Ehler attended, hosted by a local medical examiner, on how to identify strangulation cases.

"During this conversation, I do recall Ken saying something about strangling someone could be, probably, a practice that would be difficult to investigate."Ehler and DeKleine discussed the DeKleine's marital woes the day before the murder.

Ehler had heard from mutual friends that Lori expressed a fear for her life. Prosecutor Ronald Franz asked what response Ehler got on that question.

"Honestly, I don't remember getting any response," Ehler said. "I think we went on to a different subject, but there was no direct response."

"He didn't deny it?"

"No," Ehler said.
GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) - About a half-dozen Holland police officers who worked alongside Ken DeKleine testified Wednesday at his murder trial.

And a friend of DeKleine's testified DeKleine basically admitted killing his wife during a jail cell chat in May.

One of the officers who took the stand was veteran detective Roger VanLiere. He said DeKleine came to work late on January 10, the day Lori was killed. "There was a look about his face that appeared to be different than what I had seen before from Ken," VanLiere said.

Brian Ehler, a Holland Police Department reserve officer became friends with DeKleine when the now ex-cop was Ehler's training officer at the department.

Ehler said he met with DeKleine in his jail cell just before Mothers Day.

In that meeting, Ehlers said he told DeKleine he wished something could have been done to prevent

In earlier testimony Wednesday, it didn't take long for the medical examiner to determine Lori DeKleine did not commit suicide.

Dr. David Start testified he would have challenged the notion Lori killed herself.

DeKleine reportedly told detectives he killed his estranged wife but tried to make it look like a suicide.

Start, the Kent County medical examiner, said marks caused by a strap placed around her neck showed signs of a struggle that were inconsistent with suicide.

He said internal neck injuries, such as she had, are also not usually found in a suicide.

Thursday, DeKleine's videotaped confession is expected to be played in court.

24 Hour News 8 will continue to follow this trial.






Ex-cop charged in killing spoke of marital discord
Thursday, July 10, 2008
By John Tunison
The Grand Rapids Press
http://www.mlive.com/news/grpress/index.ssf?/base/news-42/1215695718183640.xml&coll=6

GRAND HAVEN -- Ken DeKleine's broken marriage and frustrations over the divorce process and his estranged wife were almost common knowledge among many Holland police officers.

"He was very open about it," Officer Jose Mendoza said.

Mendoza was one of a handful of officers who testified Wednesday in DeKleine's murder trial.

Mendoza recalled hearing DeKleine talk about his problems, including a time he told one officer about planting a recording device in his wife's backpack before she visited her therapist.

By many accounts, the veteran officer believed his wife, Lori DeKleine, was romantically involved with her therapist and he wanted to get the man's state license revoked. Several said DeKleine seemed obsessed with the issue.

No one thought DeKleine would kill her, though, as prosecutors claim.

During the second day of DeKleine's trial, police witnesses talked about how De-Kleine acted in the hours after prosecutors say he strangled Lori DeKleine with a nylon strap Jan. 10. He was at work later that day -- before anyone had discovered Lori DeKleine's body -- in a police training session that included teaching officers how to put suspects in a choke hold.

Fellow officers noticed a cut on his lip mended with stitches, but he told them the lid from a cast iron Dutch oven fell on him as he tried to retrieve it from a shelf. Prosecutors say the real cause was his wife biting Officers who trained with DeKleine that afternoon noticed little change in his demeanor.

Officer John Weatherwax testified DeKleine earlier confided in him about his frustrations, particularly that his wife had a personal protection order against him.

"He thought the PPO was wrongly obtained," Weatherwax said.

Weatherwax said DeKleine mentioned putting a recorder in his wife's backpack to "get information" about the relationship his wife had with the therapist.

Prosecutors say DeKleine's anger about the January 2007 order, a custody battle over their two teen children and the issue with the therapist all set DeKleine off.

While DeKleine complained about his wife's alleged relationship, testimony showed he had a romantic relationship even before he filed for divorce.

Richelle VanderWal testified she was getting a divorce from her husband, a former Holland police officer, when she started a relationship with DeKleine in fall 2007. They kept it secret.

Police said Lori DeKleine's body was placed in her basement to look like a suicide, with a dangling strap tossed over some rafters.

Ottawa County Medical Examiner Dr. David Start said Wednesday that Lori DeKleine died from an assault and strangulation. He noted bruises on her body.

Detectives who interviewed Ken DeKleine in the first few hours after his wife's body was found said he denied any involvement. When investigators confronted him about blood-splattered clothing in the garage attic, he claimed he left it there while working on a vent in summer 2006 and had cut himself.

Sheriff's Detective Tom Knapp told DeKleine gloves were found, but never said what type. DeKleine volunteered that his son left "medical gloves" up there after playing with them, the exact kind found by police. him as he strangled her.













Michigan State Police Forensic Analyst Joel Schultze.










Detective Mark Bennett [Ottawa County Sheriff Department]










Ottawa County Medical Examiner Dr. David Start.








Medical Examiner Dr. David Start demonstrates the method of stragulation Officer Ken DeKleine used, when he murdered his ex-wife Lori DeKleine.






DeKleine trial: suicide not plausible
WOOD-TV
updated 9:28 a.m. CT, Wed., July. 9, 2008
By Joe LaFurgey
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25604805/

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) - It didn't take long for the medical examiner to determine Lori DeKleine did not commit suicide.

In Day 2 of Ken DeKleine's murder trial, Dr. David Start testified he would have challenged the notion Lori killed herself.

Ken DeKleine reportedly told detectives he killed his estranged wife but tried to make it look like a suicide.

Start, the Kent County medical examiner, said marks caused by a strap placed around her neck showed signs of a struggle that were inconsistent with suicide.

He said internal neck injuries, such as she had, are also not usually found in a suicide.

Testimony continues throughout the day. Stay with 24 Hour News 8 for updates on-air and online.







Medical examiner: DeKleine death was murder, not suicide
WZZM Channel 13 News
Posted By: Matt Campbell Reviewed By: Stanton Tang
June 09, 2008
http://www.wzzm13.com/news/news_story.aspx?storyid=95124&catid=14

Grand Haven - The murder trial of a Holland police officer charged with killing his wife resumed this morning.

Prosecutors say Ken DeKleine murdered his wife, Lori, in the couple's home in January.

Prosecutors are offering medical testimony today to establish the foundation that Lori DeKleine's death was murder, not a suicide.

Ottawa County Medical Examiner Dr. David Start was the first on the stand.

Dr. Start performed the autopsy on Lori DeKleine's body the day following her death.

The doctor told the jury she had cuts, scrapes and bruises on her face, elbows, knees and feet.

Dr. Start says the most significant factors in his homicide determination were the scrapes and cuts on Lori's neck, caused by a nylon strap being tightened around her neck during a struggle to stay alive.

Dr. Start says he did not see injuries common with suicide by hanging. According to his expert opinion, all of Lori DeKleine's injuries occurred at the time of her death or shortly before and after.

The trial could last into next week.

Jon Mills Reporting.










Day two in Dekleine trial
WWMT NEWS
July 9, 2008 - 11:08AM
http://www.wwmt.com/news/dekleine_1351043___article.html/grand_haven.html

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Day two in the trial of a former police officer accused of murdering his wife.

It was a difficult morning for family members of Lori Dekleine.

Autopsy photos were introduced in court attempting to prove that this was no suicide, she was murdered.

Day two of the trial unfolded in a packed court room. We're told some jury members were in tears. Some of the victim's close friends were fighting back tears as medical examiner Doctor David Start testified that the strap placed around Lori's neck to strangle her did serious damage and it was lack of oxygen to the brain that caused her death.

Prosecutors believe Ken Dekleine, a former Holland police officer, killed his wife and that he had a lot of reasons to do it.

Testimony indicates Ken was angry over an extended divorce with his wife, jealous over an alleged relationship his wife had with a therapist, and had been plotting to kill his wife for more than a year so he could have custody of the children.

Wednesday morning in court the medical examiner ruled out suicide as the cause of death. Doctor Start stated that Lori had injuries all over her body from what was apparently a large fight on that morning in January of 2008.

Doctor Start said "I did reach an opinion and my opinion is that this is not a suicide, that these injuries were caused by another person inflicting these injuries on Lori Dekleine."

A jury of 3 men and 11 women was seated Tuesday, these people will ultimately decide Ken Dekleine's fate.

It is expected that at some point Ken Dekleine's confession will be introduced in court, likely on Thursday. That confession will of course be a very key piece of evidence.









Examiner testifies in murder trial that Holland victim suffered numerous injuries
Posted by John Tunison
The Grand Rapids Press
July 09, 2008 10:05AM
Categories: Breaking News, DeKleine case
http://blog.mlive.com/grpress/2008/07/examiner_testifies_in_murder_t.html

GRAND HAVEN -- Ottawa County Medical Examiner Dr. David Start this morning testified that Lori DeKleine had several facial injuries that could have been caused by being punched, as well as bruises all over her body.

Start began today's testimony in the second day of trial against former Holland police officer Ken DeKleine, accused of strangling his estranged wife with a strap.

Start, who conducted the autopsy on Lori DeKleine, noted a bruise under one eye, scrape on her nose and that she had bitten her own tongue.

The injuries, Start said, were consistent with being in a struggle. She may have tried to put her chin down to protect her neck and bit her tongue, he said.

Scraping on her feet could have been caused by being dragged down stairs as prosecutors suggested, Start said. She had a bruise under her scalp that could have been caused by falling and hitting her head and broken cartilage and bones inside her neck.









Experts testify about science used to solve murders
By ANDREA GOODELL
The Holland Sentinel
Posted Jul 09, 2008 @ 07:34 PM
http://www.wickedlocal.com/mi-holland/news/x1913532553/Experts-testify-about-science-used-to-solve-murders

Grand Haven, MI —Collecting evidence in a criminal investigation is a scientific process.

Former Holland police officer Ken DeKleine is on trial for the Jan. 10 murder of his wife, Lori DeKleine, who was found strangled to death in the basement of her home.

Blood from Ken and Lori DeKleine was found in the house, according to forensic experts.

Prosecutors have yet to reveal how the blood got there.

Much of Wednesday morning, July 9, Ottawa County Prosecutor Ron Frantz questioned experts on the physical evidence found at Lori DeKleine’s Calvin Avenue home.

Kate Dozeman, a Michigan State Police forensic scientist, described in her testimony the process of collecting biological evidence such as blood. Each time a technician collects a sample, he or she wets a swab with sterile water and wipes it across the stain. Only a small sample is needed, Dozeman said.

On Jan. 11, Dozeman and others spent six hours collecting evidence from the DeKleine kitchen, basement laundry room and attic, she told jurors.

Frantz presented photos of blood stains in the basement laundry room, stairwell and hallway.

In the course of his career, Michigan State Police Grand Rapids crime lab DNA Unit Supervisor Joel Schultze estimated he has processed thousands of DNA samples.

The crime lab is nothing like popular television shows, Frantz said.

What’s the reality based on your experience at the Michigan State Police crime lab?” he asked, eliciting a laugh from the courtroom.

Cases are not solved in one hour episodes, Schultze said. One DNA sample takes 24 to 36 hours to process. The state crime lab has a backlog of six to eight months, he added.

Technicians first have to determine if the sample contains DNA, then try to extract it, Schultze said. Crime scenes are not clean places, he said. Samples are swabbed from dirty floors, walls, clothing and other areas.

Ninety-five percent of a person’s DNA is just like everyone else’s, Schultze said. Technicians look at 13 portions that are more unique and can be used to identify whose blood, hair or other sample it is.

The Michigan State Police Grand Rapids crime lab took DNA samples from Ken and Lori DeKleine to compare with blood samples taken from the house.

“You just compare the two and either they match or they don’t match,” Schultze said.Each person has unique DNA.

Ottawa County Medical Examiner Dr. David Start testified that he performed an autopsy Jan. 11.

Frantz presented for evidence photos of Lori DeKleine’s face and neck bruised and with rope burns.

The pictures were visible to the gallery, including Lori DeKleine’s family. At least one member wiped away tears.

Start testified that he had ruled out suicide.

“All the indicators are inconsistent with a suicidal hanging,” he said.

Among other indicators, the angle of the abrasion was not steep enough to have been made by a strap hung from above, he said.

“(The marks on Lori DeKleine’s neck) would take someone pulling on the strap, and it would take a significant amount of force,” he said.











Holly Verde [Lori's divorce attorney]. Lori's death had at first been believed to be a suicide. Attorney Verde immediately contacted the prosecutor's office following Lori's death and informed them of her belief that Officer Ken DeKleine had murdered his ex-wife Lori DeKleine.







Detective Shauna Vugteveen [Ottawa County Sheriff Department]










Sgt. Jeff Velthouse [Holland Police Department]








Detective Thomas Knapp [Ottawa County Sheriff Department]

*For additional testimony of Sgt. Velthouse and Detective Knapp, see also http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2008/07/officer-dekleines-trialloris-murder_08.html










Hidden evidence revealed in Ken DeKleine murder trial

Posted by
The Grand Rapids Press
July 08, 2008 18:46PM
http://blog.mlive.com/grpress/2008/07/hidden_evidence_revealed_in_ke.html

GRAND HAVEN -- Blood-stained clothes and a gray nylon strap, allegedly used by former Holland Police Officer Ken DeKleine to kill his wife -- were discovered under insulation in the attic of his estranged wife's home, police testified today.

The evidence was discovered after Ottawa County sheriff's Detective Tom Knapp found a hiking-boot footprint on top of Lori DeKleine's car in the garage as police began to investigate her death on Jan. 10.

Above the car, Knapp testified, was an attic door where police found the hidden items.

Knapp and sheriff's Detective Shauna Vugteveen testified today in DeKleine's murder trial.

Among the items in the attic, where prosecutors allege DeKleine hid for seven hours before emerging to attack his wife, were a set of black plastic gloves.

Knapp said he was surprised to find the gloves matched the Holland Police Department evidence gloves he was using that evening to collect evidence at the DeKleine house. Holland officers gave him the gloves because Knapp came straight from his house that night and did not have time to stop and get the standard white gloves used at the sheriff's department.












Press photo: Cory OlsonKen. Officer Dekleine with his defense attorney Fred Farmer.






Press Photo/Cory OlsenKen . OFFICER DEKLEINE.





Son who found body expected to testify in DeKleine murder trial

Posted by John Tunison
The Grand Rapids Press
July 08, 2008 12:26PM
http://blog.mlive.com/grpress/2008/07/son_who_found_body_expected_to.html

GRAND HAVEN - Attorneys picked a jury this morning in the Ken DeKleine murder case, with opening arguments to begin this afternoon.

One of the first witnesses expected on the stand is DeKleine's 16-year-old son, Christopher DeKleine, who found his mother's body in their basement on Jan. 10.

Police say Ken DeKleine, a veteran Holland police officer at the time, placed her body with a rope around her neck to look like a suicide.

DeKleine, 45, has allegedly admitted to a Michigan State Police detective that he hid in the attic of his estranged wife's garage overnight, then emerged in the morning after their two children had left the house.

He allegedly strangled Lori DeKleine, 43, with a strap. During the altercation, she bit his lip, causing an injury that required stitches.

DeKleine initially told investigators that a Dutch oven fell on his head, causing the lip injury.









Son testifies against ex-cop dad in mom's murder

WOOD TV
Posted: July 8, 2008 05:11 AM CDT
Updated: July 8, 2008 04:19 PM CDT
By Joe LaFurgey
http://www.woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=8638248&nav=0Rce

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) - In the first day of testimony about the murder of his mother, Christopher DeKleine said he was concerned because his mom was usually home from her job at the church across the street when he got home from school.

Hours had passed. Her cell phone and glasses, two things she never left home without, were both in the house.

He decided to look downstairs.

"I went all the way down the stairs and I looked in the room. She was there," the teenager testified. His father, ex-Holland police officer Ken DeKleine, is on trial for first-degree murder.

"Did you touch her or call out to her?" asked Ottawa County prosecutor Ronald Franz.

"I yelled," Christopher said. "I was shocked."

Prosecutors said DeKleine planned the crime for a year. In a confession to investigators soon after his wife's body was found on January 10, 2008, DeKleine told detectives he first thought of killing his wife in January 2007.

She had just had a personal protection order drawn against him as they were going through a divorce.

He later told detectives he snuck into the attic area over the garage at 3 a.m., waited for his kids to go to school, snuck down from the attic, entered the home and strangled Lori DeKleine.

He tried to make it look like a suicide, using a strap and a ladder to simulate a hanging. But detectives felt it didn't add up.

Franz, reading from DeKleine's confession, said his "hope was to get away with it and be able to get away with his kids."

After the murder, DeKleine stopped for a milkshake, then work to work at the Holland Police Department.

DeKleine's defense attorney warned the jury he will not say someone else killed Lori DeKleine. Attorney Fred Farmer told jurors that by the end of the trial, they'll have a better understanding of what happened that night.

It's not just enough to sit there, turn on the telly, see the opening credits and see how it ends at the end," Farmer said. "You're going to have to follow every minute, every second of the trial."

Jury selection was accomplished in a half-day. From the jury pool, 14 were selected - nine women and five men. Two are alternates and will be dismissed before deliberations.

The prosecution may call as many as 45 witnesses. Five testified Tuesday.

24 Hour News 8 will continue to follow this trial. Testimony resumes on Wednesday.









DeKleine's son takes stand in father's murder trial
WZZM Channel 13 News
July 08, 2008
Web Editor: Chris Zoladz
GRAND HAVEN - The murder trial of a Holland police officer charged with killing his wife continues Wednesday.

Ken DeKleine is accused of killing his wife, Lori DeKleine on January 10, 2008 at her home on Calvin Avenue in Holland. Police believe Ken DeKleine snuck into the house, hiding in garage attic for seven hours until his children left for school, then strangled his wife.

In opening arguments Tuesday, Ottawa County Prosecutor, Ron Frantz told the jury DeKleine started thinking about killing Lori shortly after she took out a personal protection order against him.

"It was deliberate, it was planned, and selfish...the ultimate act of control," says Frantz.

Armed with a nylon strap, Frantz alleges DeKleine attacked Lori in the kitchen.

"With that noose in hand, he put it over her neck and they had one heck of an altercation."

Prosecutors say Ken DeKleine then pulled his wife's body into the basement and staged a suicide scene to be found by his teenage son.

The 16-year old told jurors how he found his mother's body.

"I went downstairs and looked in the laundry room, and then she was there."

A 911 audio tape was also played for jurors.
Operator: "Is she unconscious?
Son: "I think so."
Operator: "We'll get everyone started."

Holland Police Sergeant, Jeffrey Belthouse was the first officer at the scene. He described how he almost immediately had suspicions because a ladder near Lori's body appeared to be too big to stand up in the small basement laundry room.

"In relation to the victim there was, it seemed, too much space. It seemed to be too far away from the body."

DeKeline's lawyer took just two minutes to address the jury in opening arguments. Judge Kelvin Bosman told the jury the trial could last into next week.









Son testifies about finding mother's body in DeKleine murder trial

Posted by John Tunison
The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND HAVEN - Defense attorney Floyd Farmer gave no indication of his planned defense today in the murder trial of former Holland police officer Ken DeKleine.

In fact, in a brief opening argument, he told jurors, "I am not going to pull a rabbit out of a hat and show you it was someone other than Ken DeKleine who was the instrument of Lori DeKleine's death. That's not going to happen."

Testimony began today with Holland police Sgt. Jeff Velthouse. Velthouse was the first officer on the scene after Ken DeKleine's son, 16-year-old Christopher DeKleine, found his mother, Lori DeKleine, dead in the basement of their home.

Christopher DeKleine also testified. He described how he found his mother lying in the basement laundry room a few hours after he got home from school. He yelled, trying to get her to move, but she did not.

"I was shocked," the teen said.

Family members in the courtroom became teary eyed when prosecutors played the 911 tape of Christopher DeKleine calling for help. His voice was clearly distraught.

In his opening, Ottawa County Prosecutor Ron Frantz suggested several motives for the crime: that Ken DeKleine was angry over being served a personal protection order, that he was jealous about a perceived relationship Lori DeKleine was having with her therapist, that she wanted the personal protection order extended another year and that he knew Lori wanted to attend a stalking conference and possibly have the presenter use her case with her husband as a talking example.

Frantz also said Ken DeKleine had surreptitiously transferred e-mails sent to Lori DeKleine to his computer and he knew private matters about her life he should not have known.











Son takes stand on first day of Ken DeKleine's murder trial
By MEGAN SCHMIDT
The Holland Sentinel
Posted Jul 08, 2008 @ 11:09 PM
Last update Jul 09, 2008 @ 09:08 AM
http://www.wickedlocal.com/mi-holland/news/x518434157/Son-takes-stand-on-first-day-of-Ken-DeKleines-murder-trial

Grand Haven, MI —Christopher DeKleine began to worry about 5 p.m. when he hadn’t heard from his mother.

His mother, Lori, had not come home from work.

Her glasses — which she wore every day — were sitting on the table. When he tried to call her cell phone, he heard it ringing on the bed.

What the son of former Holland police officer Ken DeKleine didn’t know was his mother was already home — but she was dead.

Christopher DeKleine, 16, described coming home from school on the afternoon of Jan. 10 to find her body, strangled to death with a nylon strap, on the floor of the basement in their Calvin Avenue home.

Former Holland police officer Ken DeKleine, 45, is on trial this week in Ottawa County Circuit Court in Grand Haven for allegedly murdering his wife, Lori, 43.

He faces life in prison if found guilty of the two charges of first-degree murder and felony murder.

Christopher DeKleine said he was shocked to peer over the railing of the basement stairs and see her lying in the laundry room.

Sgt. Jeff Velthouse of the Holland police — first to arrive at the scene — testified that when he got to the house, Christopher directed him to the basement.

There, he described what appeared at first glance to be the setting of a suicide — a ladder opened up, and the strap tied around Lori’s neck, strung through a rafter in the ceiling.

The ladder was “too far from the body,” for the suicide scene to look believable, Velthouse said.

Velthouse made the decision to call DeKleine to the scene and embraced him when he arrived, he said.

“He kept repeating Christopher’s name,” Velthouse said. “He kept asking, ‘Where’s Chris?’”

Detective Thomas Knapp of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office said investigators found several discarded blood-stained items of clothing and a pair of black latex gloves in the attic of the garage after the murder.

Knapp was called to take over the investigation from the Holland police since DeKleine was a Holland officer.

The gloves he found are used to keep investigators from leaving fingerprints on evidence, he said.

Knapp said that while the sheriff’s office uses white gloves, he knew the Holland police used black ones.

“They were ripped,” Knapp told the court. “They often rip when you’re trying to take them off (after you’ve used them).”

The trial continues Wednesday, July 9.

Prosecutor Ron Frantz said that of a list of 40 potential witnesses, at least two-thirds will be called to the stand.

Eight motives. Taking Lori DeKleine’s life was “the ultimate act of control,” prosecutor Ron Frantz said Tuesday, July 8.
Ken DeKleine had a variety of reasons for wanting his wife dead, he said.Frantz laid out eight motives during his opening statement during the first day of the trial:

• DeKleine was angry over being served with a restraining order by Lori. She had filed the personal protection order on Jan. 31, 2007, fearing for her safety.

• DeKleine conducted “extensive eavesdropping and surveillance” of Lori in the year leading up to her death. Frantz said DeKleine broke into her e-mail account to retrieve copies of messages sent between Lori and her attorney.

• The DeKleines were in the midst of a divorce, and hearings for their formal separation kept getting adjourned for reasons beyond their control.

• A custody battle for their two children, Breanne, 18, and Christopher, 16, was brewing.

• DeKleine discovered e-mails between Lori and the organizer of a seminar on stalking — an event Lori planned to attend, where she was considering sharing her experiences.

• DeKleine’s friend and former college roommate was also going through marital troubles, and he believed Lori was encouraging the man’s wife to leave him.

• DeKleine became convinced that Lori was having an affair with her psychologist.









Son takes stand on first day of Ken DeKleine's murder trial
Wed, Jul 9, 2008
BY MEGAN SCHMIDT
Holland Sentinel
http://www.grandhaventribune.com/paid/292583358318207.bsp

Christopher DeKleine began to worry about 5 p.m. when he hadn't heard from his mother.

His mother, Lori, had not come home from work.

Her glasses — which she wore every day — were sitting on the table. When he tried to call her cell phone, he heard it ringing on the bed.

What the son of former Holland police officer Ken DeKleine didn't know was his mother was already home — but she was dead.

Christopher DeKleine, 16, described coming home from school on the afternoon of Jan. 10 to find her body, strangled to death with a nylon strap, on the floor of the basement in their Calvin Avenue home.

Former Holland police officer Ken DeKleine, 45, is on trial this week in Ottawa County Circuit Court in Grand Haven for allegedly murdering his wife, Lori, 43. He faces life in prison if found guilty of the two charges of first-degree murder and felony murder.

Christopher DeKleine said he was shocked to peer over the railing of the basement stairs and see her lying in the laundry room.

Sgt. Jeff Velthouse of the Holland police — first to arrive at the scene — testified that when he got to the house, Christopher directed him to the basement. There, he described what appeared at first glance to be the setting of a suicide — a ladder opened up, and the strap tied around Lori's neck, strung through a rafter in the ceiling.

The ladder was "too far from the body" for the suicide scene to look believable, Velthouse said.

Velthouse made the decision to call DeKleine to the scene and embraced him when he arrived, he said.

"He kept repeating Christopher's name," Velthouse said. "He kept asking, 'Where's Chris?'"

Detective Thomas Knapp of the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department said investigators found several discarded blood-stained items of clothing and a pair of black latex gloves in the attic of the garage after the murder.

Knapp was called to take over the investigation from the Holland police since DeKleine was a Holland officer.

The gloves he found are used to keep investigators from leaving fingerprints on evidence, he said. Knapp said that while the sheriff's office uses white gloves, he knew the Holland police used black ones.

"They were ripped," Knapp told the court. "They often rip when you're trying to take them off (after you've used them)."

The trial continues today.














Lori DeKleine slaying 'about control,' court told

Wednesday, July 09, 2008
By John Tunison
The Grand Rapids Press
http://www.mlive.com/news/grpress/index.ssf?/base/news-42/121560931860960.xml&coll=6

GRAND HAVEN --Ken DeKleine had many motives to kill his estranged wife, prosecutors say.

"The murder of Lori DeKleine was about control and manipulation," Ottawa County Prosecutor Ron Frantz told jurors Tuesday during the start of the murder trial against the former veteran Holland cop, a man once described as one of the most likable, dedicated officers on the force.

But police and prosecutors contend DeKleine's rage and jealousy spiraled out of control, pushing him to hide in the garage attic of his wife's home for seven hours Jan. 10 before emerging to strangle her with a nylon strap.

The death and Ken DeKleine's arrest stunned the community.

On Tuesday in Circuit Court, De-Kleine's attorney hinted that he would not deny the killing, something to which police say DeKleine confessed.

"I am not going to pull a rabbit out of a hat and show you it was someone other than Ken DeKleine who was the instrument of Lori DeKleine's death," attorney Floyd Farmer said.

In opening arguments, Frantz alleged several events set DeKleine off, particularly when he read private e-mails that his wife had on a computer at Holland Heights Christian Reformed Church where she worked as a secretary.

Frantz revealed details that allege DeKleine, 45, secretly got onto her work computer two days before the killing and sent several e-mails to his own computer.

"Ken DeKleine was involved in extensive eavesdropping and surveillance of his wife," Frantz said.

In one of the e-mails, Lori DeKleine, 43, talked with her attorney, Holly Verde, about extending the personal protection order she obtained in January 2007 against her husband. It was set to expire in less than a month.

In the e-mails, DeKleine also learned of a stalking seminar that his wife was interested in attending, and possibly allowing the organizers to use her story as an anonymous example of stalking problems, officials said.

"She felt she was the victim of stalking by Ken DeKleine," Frantz said.

He also learned his wife was communicating with one of her girlfriends, who also was about to get divorced, Franz said. The girlfriend's husband was Ken DeKleine's college roommate and a good friend, and prosecutors allege DeKleine was upset because he perceived his wife as meddling.

Add to that the anger he harbored over a custody battle during his pending divorce with Lori DeKleine, along with suspicions Lori DeKleine was having an affair with her therapist, and it was enough to put him over the edge, prosecutors said Tuesday.

During the first day of testimony, Ken DeKleine sat mostly without reaction as he listened to three officers testify about examining Lori DeKleine's body and finding blood-splattered clothing and a nylon strap hidden under insulation in the garage attic.

But he smiled when his son, Christopher, 16, took the stand for sometimes emotional testimony about discovering his mother's body in the basement laundry room. During a light moment, the teen described how his sister, now 18, routinely made them almost late for school at Holland Christian High School.

Prosecutors played the 911 call Christopher DeKleine made after the discovery, a few hours after he came home from school. His voice was fraught with emotion, telling the dispatcher he could not go back into the basement to see if his mother was still breathing.

On the stand, Christopher DeKleine talked about becoming concerned about his mother when he found her cell phone and eyeglasses inside the house. He found her lying on the basement floor.

"I yelled. I was shocked," he said.

Prosecutors allege Ken DeKleine put a different nylon strap around his wife's neck and tipped a ladder over inside the room to make it appear to be a suicide. But the strap was simply resting, unattached, upon some overhead rafters.


















[Pictured: Lori's voice and the voice for OIDV victims throughout Michigan...Ottawa County Prosecutors]






Trial for former police officer Ken DeKleine begins Tuesday
By MEGAN SCHMIDT
The Holland Sentinel
Posted Jul 05, 2008 @ 11:18 PM
Last update Jul 09, 2008 @ 09:18 AM
http://www.wickedlocal.com/mi-holland/news/x79999308/Trial-for-former-police-officer-Ken-DeKleine-begins-Tuesday

Holland, MI —When former Holland police officer Ken DeKleine’s murder trial begins this week, his children may not be in attendance.

“I have not talked to them concerning the trial,” said Brad Ward, an elder at Holland Heights Christian Reformed Church where the DeKleines attended services and where his wife Lori was once employed.“I don’t see them day to day so I’m not sure if they have any intention to attend.” DeKleine will be on trial this week in Ottawa County Circuit Court for allegedly killing his wife Lori six months ago.

Ward has acted as a spokesman for the family since Lori’s death.

Ward said the DeKleine children — Breanne and Christopher — have been picking up the pieces of their lives since their mother was found dead in the basement of their Calvin Avenue home on Jan. 10.

DeKleine was arrested the following day for the murder, which was determined to be caused by strangulation. Lori was found with a strap tied around her neck in a setup meant to look like a suicide.

An autopsy revealed otherwise, and DeKleine was taken into custody.

Ward said the children continue to stay with a family member, and that Breanne, who recently graduated from Holland Christian High School, has chosen a college to attend in the fall.

“She has her roommates picked out,” he said, but declined to say what college she had chosen. “I don’t know that she wants everyone to know where she’s going.”

Son Christopher will be a junior at Holland Christian High School in the fall.

Ward said that the community has reached out to help the children — with Hope College’s Phi Sigma Kappa organizing a charity basketball game with the Holland police in April that raised $4,208 for their schooling and living costs.

The families still don’t want the media in the middle of their lives,” Ward said. “It’s hard to imagine how horrible this is — it’s something that is tough enough to deal with privately. Dealing with it with all the media around makes it more difficult.”

Because DeKleine confessed to the murder, many wonder why he pleaded not guilty to the crime after a preliminary exam on Jan. 25, thus warranting a trial by jury.

Defense attorney Floyd Farmer was not available for comment in the week leading up to the trial. A receptionist at his law office said he would be on vacation until the trial began.

Farmer previously declined to comment when asked by The Sentinel in February why DeKleine might enter a not guilty plea despite having confessed to committing the murder to investigators the same day he was arrested for it.

Ottawa County Prosecutor Ron Frantz also said Thursday, July 2 that it would be “inappropriate” for him to speculate why the case was going to trial.

Charisse Smith Mitchell, executive director for the Center for Women in Transition, said that while Lori’s murder may bring the issue of domestic violence into the limelight momentarily, she hopes attention won’t fade too quickly.

“What I hope is that regardless of how the trial turns out, that people don’t forget that when the media coverage ends, domestic violence is an issue that is ongoing,” she said. “It doesn’t go away when the story is no longer reported.”

She said victim advocates sometimes hope that the coverage might inspire victims to report their abusers, but other considerations probably weigh more heavily on their minds.

“It’s still a personal, individual choice to come forward and ask for assistance,” she said. “We find that people often come forward based on the resources they think are available to them. That is a much bigger factor in whether people seek services and support, rather than how much attention a case might receive publicly.”








Prosecutor in Ken DeKleine trial may call 40 witnesses
Posted by The Grand Rapids Press
July 08, 2008 11:05AM
http://blog.mlive.com/grpress/2008/07/prosecutor_in_ken_dekleine_tri.html

GRAND HAVEN - Jury selection began this morning in the murder case of Ken DeKleine, a former Holland police officer accused of strangling his wife to death.

Ottawa County Prosecutor Ron Frantz asked potential jurors a myriad of questions, including whether they knew any police officers, were victims of domestic violence, know anyone who served in the military and could tolerate graphic autopsy photos.

Ken DeKleine is accused of murdering his estranged wife, Lori, amid a bitter divorce. He had come back from a civil job in Iraq training police, when the marriage fell apart. The trial is expected to last four to six days, with up to 40 prosecution witnesses.

Come back to mlive.com/grpress for trial update.










Update: Jury selection in DeKleine trial
Web Editor: WZZM Online
July 08, 2008
http://www.wzzm13.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=95058

Jury selection will continue this afternoon.

If a jury can be seated this afternoon we expect opening arguments before the end of the day.

Ken DeKleine is accused of killing his wife, Lori DeKleine on January 10, 2008 at her home on Calvin Avenue. Police believe Ken DeKleine snuck into the house, hiding until his children left for school, then strangled his wife.

Lori DeKleine had a protection order against her estranged husband for almost a year before her death. Investigators say DeKleine tried to make Lori's death look like a suicide.

Ken DeKleine spent time in Iraq training police officers there about a year before his wife's murder. After his return, he told WZZM 13 News the hardest part of going to Iraq was being away from his family.

WZZM 13 News will be in the courtroom as the trial begins. We'll have continuing coverage on air and online.





Jury selection complete in DeKleine trial
By MEGAN SCHMIDT
The Holland Sentinel
Posted Jul 08, 2008 @ 12:16 PM
Last update Jul 08, 2008 @ 11:14 PM
http://www.wickedlocal.com/mi-holland/news/x518433659/Jury-selection-complete-in-DeKleine-trial

Ottawa County, MI —Jury selection is complete and opening statements will begin after lunch break today, July 8, in the murder trial of Ken DeKleine.

DeKleine, a former Holland police officer, is on trial this week in Ottawa County Circuit Court in Grand Haven for allegedly murdering his wife, Lori, 43, in January.

Fourteen jurors were chosen today -- 11 women and three men.

Potential jurors were asked if they know a police officer, if they were a victim of domestic abuse and if they knew anyone in the military in Iraq.

Lori DeKleine was found dead in the basement of her home at 229 Calvin Ave. on Jan. 10, with a nylon strap tied around her neck.

The cause of her death was determined to be strangulation.

DeKleine is a 13-year veteran of the Holland Police Department.

He and Lori had been in the midst of a divorce at the time of her death, and Ken had moved out of their Calvin Avenue home and filed for divorce in June 2007.

Lori had filed a restraining order against him in January 2007, alleging that she feared for her safety around Ken.

DeKleine faces life in prison if found guilty of the two charges of first-degree murder and felony murder.











Officer Kenneth Dekleine, PPO violation :January 10, 2008
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2008/01/officer-kenneth-dekleine-holland-pd_10.html

Officer Kenneth Dekleine, PPO violation: January 08, 2008
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2008/01/officer-kenneth-dekleine-holland-pd.html

Officer Kenneth Dekleine, PPO violation: September 2007
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2007/09/officer-kenneth-dekleine-holland-pd.html

Officer Kenneth Dekleine, PPO violation: August 2007
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2007/08/officer-kenneth-dekleine-holland-pd.html

Officer Kenneth Dekleine, PPO violation: May 2007
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2007/05/officer-kenneth-dekleine-holland-pd.html

Officer Kenneth Dekleine, Breaking and entering complaint: January 27, 2007
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2007/01/officer-kenneth-dekleine-holland-pd.html

Officer Kenneth Dekleine: Allegations he abused Lori
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2007/01/officer-kenneth-dekleine-holland-pd_3364.html

Officer Kenneth Dekleine: Allegations he used recording devices to stalk Lori
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2007/01/officer-kenneth-dekleine-holland-pd_2294.html

Officer Kenneth Dekleine: Allegations he raped Lori
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2007/01/officer-kenneth-dekleine-holland-pd_31.html

[MI POLICE OFFICER INVOLVED PERPETRATED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAW ENFORCEMENT MURDER SUICIDE]

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