Thursday, August 28, 2008

OIDV OFFENDER APPEAL: FIREFIGHTER MATTHEW COOK

OIDV OFFENDER: FIREFIGHTER MATTHEW COOK [FIREFIGHTER WAYLAND FIRE DEPARTMENT]







*Also see Cook’s first appeal [to have the CSC thrown out, and argued that the Court erred in scoring an offense variable to reflect prolonged pain and humiliation inflicted by Cook towards his victim.] : http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2009/10/oidv-offender-appeal-firefighter.html



CHARGED WITH CHILD PORNOGRAPHY WHILE ON PROBATION FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ASSAULT: [ http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2004/03/firefighter-matthew-cook-wayland-fd.html ].

COOK WAS CONVICTED OF ASSAULT WITH INTENT TO COMMIT SEXUAL PENETRATION; 2 COUNTS OF 3RD DEGREE CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT; GROSS INDECENCY; AND 1ST DEGREE CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT.

ON 04/04/2008, COOK WAS SENTENCED 9 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON.

ON 08/28/2008, COOK FILED AN APPEAL ON THE 25 POINTS HE WAS ASSESSED, WHEN HE WAS CLASSIFIED AS A "SEXUALLY DELINQUENT PERSON".

ON 12/10/2009 THE MICHIGAN COURT OF APPEALS AFFIRMED THE TRIAL COURT'S DETERMINATION OF COOK'S STATUS AS A SEXUALLY DELINQUENT PERSON, BUT VACATED HIS SENTENCES AND REMANDED THE CASE FOR RESENTENCING.
MDOC NUMBER: 496094
CURRENT STATUS: PRISONER
LOCATION: MACOMB CORRECTIONAL FACILITY
SECURITY LEVEL: II
EARLIEST RELEASE DATE: 07/18/2017
MAXIMUM DISCHARGE DATE: LIFE

SENTENCE 1:
OFFENSE: CSC- ASSAULT W/ INTENT TO COMMIT SEXUAL PENETRATION

MCL #: 750.520G1
COURT FILE # : 07015431-FH-C
COUNTY: ALLEGAN
CONVICTION TYPE: JURY
MINIMUM SENTENCE: 5 YEARS 7 MONTHS
MAXIMUM SENTENCE: 10 YEARS 0 MONTHS
DATE OF OFFENSE: 04/01/2004
DATE OF SENTENCE: 04/04/2008

SENTENCE 2:
OFFENSE: CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT, 3RD DEGREE [FORCE OR COERCION]

MCL #: 750.520D1B
COURT FILE # : 07015431-FH-C
COUNTY: ALLEGAN
CONVICTION TYPE: JURY
MINIMUM SENTENCE: 10 YEARS 0 MONTHS
MAXIMUM SENTENCE: 15 YEARS 0 MONTHS
DATE OF OFFENSE: 04/01/2004
DATE OF SENTENCE: 04/04/2008

SENTENCE 3:
OFFENSE: CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT, 3RD DEGREE [FORCE OR COERCION]

MCL #: 750.52D1B
COURT FILE # : 07015431-FH-C
COUNTY: ALLEGAN
CONVICTION TYPE: JURY
MINIMUM SENTENCE: 10 YEARS 0 MONTHS
MAXIMUM SENTENCE: 15 YEARS 0 MONTHS
DATE OF OFFENSE: 04/01/2004
DATE OF SENTENCE: 04/04/2008

SENTENCE 4:
OFFENSE: GROSS INDECENCY BETWEEN MALE & FEMALE- COMMITTING / PROCURRING

MCL #: 750.338B / 750.10A
COURT FILE # : 0702979-FH
COUNTY: KENT
CONVICTION TYPE: PLEA
MINIMUM SENTENCE: 7 YEARS 0 MONTHS
MAXIMUM SENTENCE: LIFE
DATE OF OFFENSE: 03/01/2007
DATE OF SENTENCE:08/28/2007

SENTENCE 5:
OFFENSE: CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT, 1ST DEGREE [PERSON UNDER 13] -SOLICIT

MCL #: 750.520B1A / 769.10
COURT FILE # : 0702979-FH
COUNTY: KENT
CONVICTION TYPE: PLEA
MINIMUM SENTENCE: 3 YEARS 0 MONTHS
MAXIMUM SENTENCE: 5 YEARS 0 MONTHS
DATE OF OFFENSE: 03/01/2007
DATE OF SENTENCE: 08/28/2007

**********
Matthew Cook appeals possible life sentence
By Advance Newspapers
December 21, 2009, 11:27AM
http://www.mlive.com/penaseeglobe/index.ssf/2009/12/matthew_cook_appeals_possible.html
Court of Appeals has ruled for Cook’s resentencing. Cook is currently in prison after attempting to hire a Grand Rapids prostitute to bring him a child between the ages of 10 and 12, for sexual purposes.

Cook pleaded guilty to solicitation to commit first-degree criminal sexual conduct and attempting to procure and act of gross indecency between a male and female. According to the Court of Appeals, Cook was sentenced as a “sexually delinquent person,” for seven years to life on the gross indecency conviction and as a second habitual offender, to a concurrent prison sentence of three to five years for the solicitation conviction. He was sentenced for the March 1, 2008 offense on Aug. 28, 2008.

On Dec. 10, the State of Michigan Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Cook’s resentencing because of errors in procedural requirements regarding Cook’s sexual delinquency determination.

A former Wayland volunteer firefighter, Cook served jail time for using a computer at the city’s Public Safety Building to access child sexually abusive material on the Internet.

Cook also has three active prison sentences for Allegan County CSC offenses committed on April 1, 2004, for which he was sentenced on April 4, 2008 after a jury trial. He is serving up to 10 years for CSC assault with intent to commit sexual penetration, up to 15 years for CSC 3rd degree (force or coercion) and up 15 years for CSC 3rd degree (force or coercion).

**********

MICHIGAN COURT OF APPEALS
PEOPLE OF MI
V
MATTHEW THOMAS COOK

COA Case Number: 287411
SCt Case Number: 137691


1 PEOPLE OF MI PL-AE PRS
(25386) MCMORROW TIMOTHY K
82 IONIA AVENUE NW
SUITE 450
GRAND RAPIDS MI 49503
616-632-6710
Oral Argument:
Timely: Y

2 COOK MATTHEW THOMAS DF-AT SAD
(35933) DAGHER-MARGOSIAN JEANICE
101 N WASHINGTON
14TH FLOOR
LANSING MI 48913
517-334-6069
Oral Argument: Y
Timely: Y

Status: Case Concluded; File Open
SCT Status: CLOSE 01
Case Flags: Guilty Plea; Proposal B Appeal


08/28/2008 -1- Delayed App for Leave - Criminal
Proof Of Service Date: 8/28/2008
Register of Actions: Y
Answer Due: 9/18/2008
Fee Code: PI
Attorney:35933 - DAGHER-MARGOSIAN JEANICE

08/28/2007: -2- Order Appealed From
From: KENT COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT
Case Number: 07-002979-FH
Trial Court Judge: 16129 KOLENDA DENNIS C
Nature of Case:
CSC-1
Gross Indecency
Criminal Miscellaneous
Habitual Offender 1st

08/28/2008: -3- Transcript Filed By Party
Date: 8/28/2008
Filed By Attorney: 35933 - DAGHER-MARGOSIAN JEANICE
Hearings: 7/9/2007 PLEA
Comments: Attached to copies

08/28/2008: -4- Transcript Filed By Party
Date: 8/28/2008
Filed By Attorney: 35933 - DAGHER-MARGOSIAN JEANICE
Hearings: 8/28/2007 SENTENCE
Comments: Attached to copies

08/28/2008: -5- Transcript Filed By Party
Date: 8/28/2008
Filed By Attorney: 35933 - DAGHER-MARGOSIAN JEANICE
Hearings: 5/9/2008 MOTION W/DRAW PLEA
Comments: Attached to copies

08/28/2008: -6- Presentence Investigation Report - Confidential
Date: 8/28/2008
For Party: 2 COOK MATTHEW THOMAS DF-AT
Attorney: 35933 - DAGHER-MARGOSIAN JEANICE

08/28/2008: -24- Notice of Filing Transcript
Date: 8/28/2008
Hearings:
7/9/2007 plea
8/8/2007 sentence
5/9/2008 motion withdraw plea

09/23/2008: –7- Submitted On Motion Docket
Event: 1 Delayed App for Leave - Criminal
District: T Item
#: 7

10/01/2008: -8- Order: Application - Deny - Delayed App for Leave
Event: 1 Delayed App for Leave - Criminal
Panel: KJ,ETF,ELG
Attorney: 35933 - DAGHER-MARGOSIAN JEANICE
Comments: ELG would Grant App, see order.

10/31/2008: -9- File Closed-Out
File Location: F

11/17/2008: -10- SCt: Application for Leave to SCt
Supreme Court No. 137691
Notice Date: 12/9/2008
Fee:
State Check No.:
For Party: 2
Attorney: 35933 - DAGHER-MARGOSIAN JEANICE

12/01/2008: -11- Supreme Court - File Sent To
File Location: Z
Comments: SC#137691

12/01/2008: -12- SCt: COA File - Received

12/08/2008: -13- SCt: Trial Court Record Received
1 files


05/29/2009: -14- SCt Order: Remand as Leave Granted

06/05/2009: -15- Record FiledComments: LCF; --SC Remand

06/05/2009: - 16 - Supreme Court - File Ret`d By - Re-Open as on Leave Granted

06/08/2009: - 17 - Correspondence Sent
For Party: 2 COOK MATTHEW THOMAS DF-AT
Attorney: 35933 - DAGHER-MARGOSIAN JEANICE
Comments: AT Brief Due 7/24/09 - Issue Limited Per MSC Order - AE Brf Due 35 Days From P/S Date of AT Brief

07/23/2009: - 25 - Brief: Appellant
Proof Of Service Date: 7/23/2009
Oral Argument Requested: Y Timely Filed: Y
Filed By Attorney: 35933 - DAGHER-MARGOSIAN JEANICE
For Party: 2 COOK MATTHEW THOMAS DF-AT

07/23/2009: - 26 - Presentence Investigation Report - Confidential
Date: 7/23/2009
For Party: 2 COOK MATTHEW THOMAS DF-AT
Attorney: 35933 - DAGHER-MARGOSIAN JEANICE

08/28/2009: - 27 - Noticed
Record: FILED Mail Date: 8/31/2009

10/08/2009: - 31 - Prosecutor Advisory - No Brief
Attorney: 1141 - KENT COUNTY PROSECUTOR

12/01/2009: - 40 - Brief: Appellee
Proof Of Service Date: 12/1/2009
Oral Argument Requested:
Timely Filed: Y
Filed By Attorney: 25386 - MCMORROW TIMOTHY K
For Party: 1 PEOPLE OF MI PL-AE

12/02/2009: - 37 - Submitted on Case Call
District: G Item #: 16
Panel: JEM,RAB,CMM

12/10/2009: - 47- Opinion - Per Curiam - Unpublished
[SEE BELOW].
Pages: 6
Panel: JEM,RAB,CMM
Result: Affirm in Part, Vacate in Part, Remanded


Case Listing Complete.


***************





**********




**********



STATE OF MICHIGAN COURT OF APPEALS

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN, Plaintiff-Appellee,


V.

MATTHEW THOMAS COOK, Defendant-Appellant.


UNPUBLISHED
December 10, 2009
No. 287411
Kent Circuit Court
LC No. 07-002979-FH
Before: Markey, P.J., and Bandstra and Murray, JJ.
PER CURIAM.
http://coa.courts.michigan.gov/documents/OPINIONS/FINAL/COA/20091210_C287411_47_287411.OPN.PDF

Defendant pleaded guilty to solicitation to commit first-degree criminal sexual conduct, MCL 750.157b(3)(a) and MCL 750.520b(1)(a), and attempting to procure an act of gross indecency between a male and a female, MCL 750.338b. He was sentenced as a sexually delinquent person, MCL 750.10a, to a prison term of seven years to life for the gross indecency conviction, and as a second habitual offender, MCL 769.10, to a concurrent prison term of three to five years for the solicitation conviction. This Court originally denied defendant’s delayed application for leave to appeal, but our Supreme Court, in lieu of granting leave to appeal, subsequently remanded the case to this Court “for consideration, as on leave granted, of whether twenty-five points were properly assessed for OV 13 (MCL 777.43), and whether the trial court satisfied the provisions of MCL 767.61a when, without objection by the defendant, it reviewed documents but did not call witnesses in determining that the defendant was a sexually delinquent person.” People v Cook, 483 Mich 1023; 765 NW2d 342 (2009). We affirm the trial court’s determination of defendant’s status as a sexually delinquent person, but vacate his sentences and remand for resentencing.
I. Facts
As a factual basis for his plea, defendant stated that he asked a prostitute to bring him a child between ten and twelve years of age for the purpose of mutually engaging in oral sex. Defendant clarified that the prostitute’s role “was to find the child and hold her for me.”

II. Sexual Delinquency Determination
The gross indecency statute prescribes a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment, or, alternatively, “if such person was at the time of the said offense a sexually delinquent person,” a term of imprisonment “the minimum of which shall be 1 day and the maximum of which shall be life.” MCL 750.338b.

MCL 750.10a defines “sexually delinquent person” as:

any person whose sexual behavior is characterized by repetitive or compulsive
acts which indicate a disregard of consequences or the recognized rights of others, or by the use of force upon another person in attempting sex relations of either a heterosexual or homosexual nature, or by the commission of sexual aggressions against children under the age of 16.

MCL 767.61a provides that in prosecutions exposing the defendant to an indeterminate
sentence of one day to life as a sexually delinquent person:

the indictment shall charge the offense and may also charge that the defendant
was, at the time said offense was committed, a sexually delinquent person. In
every such prosecution the people may produce expert testimony and the court
shall provide expert testimony for any indigent accused at his request. In the
event the accused shall plead guilty to both charges in such indictment, the court
in addition to the investigation provided for in section 35 of chapter 8 of this act,
and before sentencing the accused, shall conduct an examination of witnesses
relative to the sexual delinquency of such person and may call on psychiatric and
expert testimony. All testimony taken at such examination shall be taken in open
court and a typewritten transcript or copy thereof, certified by the court reporter
taking the same, shall be placed in the file of the case in the office of the county
clerk. Upon a verdict of guilty to the first charge or to both charges or upon a
plea of guilty to the first charge or to both charges the court may impose any
punishment provided by law for such offense. [Footnote omitted; emphasis added.]


In this case, after placing defendant under oath, the trial court advised defendant at the plea proceeding that he was alleged to be a sexually delinquent person, and asked defendant if he understood all the allegations against him, and defendant answered in the affirmative. Defendant then pleaded guilty to the crimes charged, including to being a sexually delinquent person. After establishing the factual basis for the underlying offenses, the court stated that the sexually delinquent person statute “specifies the taking of evidence to decide whether someone is sexually delinquent.” The court acknowledged defendant’s earlier conviction of possession of child sexually abusive material, read a letter defendant had written, and considered defendant’s testimony that was used to establish the factual basis for the plea. Citing the statutory definition of “sexually delinquent person,” the court stated:
[T]he use of force upon another person in attempting sexual relations applies, as does the commission of sexual aggressions against children under the age of 16.

Here, we don’t have any actual aggression of a child of that age, just a desire for it. . . . I guess we don’t have any actual force, because we never did have any acts here. But, we have an admission of a plan to engage in both of the

latter kinds of activities. And, a letter here which lays out in great detail a desire to do that. Not only a desire to do it, but it becomes very apparent from reading this letter that the desire to do it is repetitive. He’s proposing to do lots of things here, and clearly shows a sexual compulsion well beyond that involved in the act, itself.

The law says I have to take evidence, but it doesn’t say of what kind. I haven’t heard any objection from anybody to the use of this evidence. So, I’m prepared to conclude that the definition in section 10a of the Penal Code has been proven in a way required by section 61a of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

***
I also think, frankly, solid evidence of what constitutes the kind of compulsion we’re talking about here as the earlier conviction for utilizing a computer to take advantage of child sexually abusive material. That that act, in and of itself and the use of that kind of material, supports findings that would satisfy section 10a.




A trial court’s general conduct of trial is reviewed for an abuse of discretion. See People v Romano, 181 Mich App 204, 220; 448 NW2d 795 (1989); People v Collier, 168 Mich App 687, 698; 425 NW2d 118 (1988). Statutory interpretation presents a question of law, calling for de novo review. People v Denio, 454 Mich 691, 698; 564 NW2d 13 (1997). At the plea proceeding, defense counsel answered affirmatively when the trial court asked if it had satisfied the procedural requirements for making the sexual delinquency determination, thus leaving this
issue unpreserved. Unpreserved issues are reviewed for plain error affecting substantial rights. See People v Carines, 460 Mich 750, 763; 597 NW2d 130 (1999).

In People v Helzer, 404 Mich 410, 418-419; 273 NW2d 44 (1978), our Supreme Court
addressed the procedure under MCL 767.61a for determining a defendant’s status as a sexually delinquent person in conjunction with a conviction of gross indecency, stating:
It is . . . clear that proof of the sexual delinquency charge may involve more than simple ministerial considerations. Very broad substantive factors come into play when the court or jury decide this question. MCL 767.61a provides for a separate hearing and record, involving psychiatric and expert testimony on the question. Even where defendant pleads guilty, the court is ordered to separately investigate the charge of sexual delinquency. [Footnotes and citation omitted.]

The Court also stated that although MCL 767.61a does not expressly call for it, “we find a separate hearing and record directed by clear implication,” and that “the alternate nature of the sentence requires a hearing and record before a separate jury in cases where defendant does not waive jury trial,” expressing the concern that the jury that decided the underlying charge might tend automatically to also find sexual delinquency. Id. at 419 n 13, 422-423 (emphasis in the original). Although the instant case arises from a guilty plea, the Supreme Court’s insistence that, in a case involving a jury trial, the delinquency question must be decided in a wholly separate proceeding before a new jury underscores the importance of deciding the delinquency question as something apart from the indecency question.

Here, the trial court conducted a hearing on whether defendant was a sexually delinquent person, specifically noting its obligation to take evidence on the issue. As noted, the trial court did take evidence on this issue, and there was no request by either party for the submission of additional evidence. The record and findings were transcribed and placed in the record. Thus, the statute was satisfied.

However, even if it were not, a reviewing court should not reverse over an unpreserved error unless defendant is actually innocent or the error seriously affected the fairness, integrity, or public reputation of judicial proceedings. Carines, supra at 763. The error in this case does not meet this standard. Defendant protests that there were no witnesses, but defendant himself was placed under oath, and he confirmed that he was a sexually delinquent person.1 The court also took into account an earlier conviction involving child sexually abusive material, and a letter in which defendant admitted having the desire to engage in sex with underage persons. In light of the guilty plea and lack of objections, this evidentiary record is more than sufficient to establish defendant’s status as a sexually delinquent person.


III. Scoring of Offense Variable 13

“This Court reviews a sentencing court’s scoring decision to determine whether the trial court properly exercised its discretion and whether the record evidence adequately supports a particular score.” People v McLaughlin, 258 Mich App 635, 671; 672 NW2d 860 (2003). However, to the extent that a scoring issue calls for statutory interpretation, review is de novo. Id.

“This Court will uphold the trial court’s scoring of the guidelines if there is evidence to support it.” People v Phillips, 251 Mich App 100, 108; 649 NW2d 407 (2002), aff’d 469 Mich 390 (2003). Factual findings for sentencing purposes require a mere preponderance of the evidence. See People v Ewing (After Remand), 435 Mich 443, 472-473; 458 NW2d 880 (1990) (Boyle, J., joined by Riley, C.J., and Griffin, J.). Information relied upon may come from various sources, including some that would not be admissible at trial, such as a presentence investigation report (“PSIR”). People v Potrafka, 140 Mich App 749, 751-752; 366 NW2d 35 (1985). See also MRE 1101(b)(3) (the rules of evidence do not apply to sentencing proceedings).

But a criminal defendant has a due process right to be sentenced on the basis of accurate information. People v Hoyt, 185 Mich App 531, 533; 462 NW2d 793 (1990), citing US Const, Am XIV and Const 1963, art 1, § 17. Accordingly, where the guidelines range is adjusted to account for a scoring error, but the original minimum sentence remains within the corrected range, resentencing is required because such a “misapprehension of the guidelines range” constitutes a sentencing decision “in reliance upon inaccurate information.” People v Francisco, 474 Mich 82, 88, 89 n 7; 711 NW2d 44 (2006); MCL 769.34(10).


OV 13 concerns continuing patterns of criminal behavior. MCL 777.43(1). The trial
court scored OV 13 at 25 points, which is prescribed where the offense in question “was part of a pattern of felonious criminal activity involving 3 or more crimes against a person.” MCL 777.43(1)(b). In scoring that variable, a court may take into account the sentencing offense along with other convictions stemming from the defendant’s course of conduct. People v Harmon, 248 Mich App 522, 532; 640 NW2d 314 (2001). Defendant concedes that his earlier conviction of possession of child sexually abusive material qualifies as a felony against a person for purposes of scoring OV 13, but argues that this is the only such felony against a person in his record. Defendant is correct, as soliciting to commit first-degree criminal sexual conduct is classified as a crime against public order, not one against a person. MCL 777.16h. The same is true for gross indecency on the part of a sexually delinquent person. MCL 777.16q. Thus, neither of the instant convictions qualifies as one against a person for purposes of scoring OV 13.

At sentencing, the trial court spoke of having on hand the parent of a child who might have served as a bad-acts witness, who in turn complained of defendant’s “gross and disgusting” behavior in connection with her ten-year old daughter. Indeed, plaintiff had filed a notice of intent to use other acts evidence, which referred to prior sexual acts with a child. However, the record does not indicate precisely what form that behavior, or attendant sexual activity, took, and thus does not indicate whether it constituted a felony against a person for purposes of scoring OV 13.

The PSIR notes that defendant pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement in which a
separate charge of second-degree criminal sexual conduct was dismissed. But there is no indication that the trial court considered that charge, or found that factual support for the charge was established by a preponderance of the evidence, so it would be premature for us to decide if that matter constitutes a sufficient basis for finding a felony against a person for purposes of scoring OV 13. In any event, even if that matter could be considered, the current record still does not support a finding that defendant committed three or more crimes against a person for purposes of assessing 25 points for OV 13.

Accordingly, because the current record does not support a 25-point score for OV 13, and because a 25-point reduction in defendant’s total OV score affects the appropriate guidelines range, we vacate defendant’s sentences and remand for resentencing.*2


Affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded for resentencing. We do not retain
jurisdiction.
/s/ Jane E. Markey

/s/ Richard A. Bandstra
/s/ Christopher M. Murray







*1 Furthermore, defendant’s brief on appeal includes no assertion, let alone an offer of proof, that he was not aware of all his rights when tendering his plea, or that he would have called witnesses, or otherwise opposed the sexual delinquency charge, had he been afforded additional opportunities to do so.

*2 We do not foreclose the possibility that, on remand, the trial court might discover and articulate proper bases for counting uncharged felonies in connection with the potential bad-acts witness, or the dismissed second-degree criminal sexual conduct charge, thereby establishing an adequate basis to score 25 points for OV 13.


MIOIDV. Renee' Harrington. Michigan Officer Involved Domestic Violence.

Officer Phillip Bal - Charges Dismissed - Iron Mountain PD

Also See:

Officer Phillip Bal - April 2004 home invasion and CSC charges

Officer Phillip Bal - April 2005 CSC charges

Officer Phillip Bal - April 2006 CSC charges

Officer Phillip Bal - 1995 CSC allegation

Officer Phillip Bal - Sentenced, July 18, 2007 [April 2004 charges]

Officer Phillip Bal - Charges dismissed [Aurora WI. April 2005 charges]
Florence dismisses charges against Bal
August 28, 2008
By NIKKI YOUNK, Staff Writer
Iron Mountain Daily News
http://www.ironmountaindailynews.com/page/content.detail/id/502934/Florence-dismisses-charges-against-Bal.html

FLORENCE, Wis. - Criminal charges against former Iron Mountain police officer Phillip Bal have been temporarily dismissed while officials await an appeal pending in Michigan, said Florence District Attorney Douglas Drexler.

Bal, 35, was originally charged in Florence County with second degree sexual assault-use of force for an alleged April 2005 incident involving an Iron Mountain woman at the C and  R bar in Aurora, Wis.

He is currently serving an 11- to 20-year prison sentence after being convicted of first degree criminal sexual conduct and home invasion in Dickinson County Circuit Court in May 2007.

Drexler explained that Bal is appealing the conviction in Dickinson County and the decision will influence whether or not Drexler reinstates the charges in Florence County.

"If the appeal is granted, we will pursue charges in Wisconsin," Drexler stated. "If not, he's already spending time in prison and we don't want that additional cost to the taxpayers."

Since Bal's trial in Florence was scheduled for Sept. 4, Drexler said that he had to take some kind of action while waiting for the appeal decision. He chose to dismiss the charges without prejudice, meaning that the charges can be reinstated at a later date.

                       









Former cop up on another rape charge
Not guilty plea was made.
WLUC -TV6, Negaunee
Posted: Friday, April 18, 2008 at 8:16 a.m.
http://www.wluctv6.com/news/news_story.aspx?id=123000

AURORA, WI -- The former Iron Mountain police officer convicted of rape and home invasion is heading to trial on another sexual assault charge.

Thirty-four-year-old Phillip Bal pled not guilty to sexually assaulting a woman at a bar in Aurora, Wisconsin back in 2005. Bal is expected to face a jury trial on September 4 in Florence County Court. He faces a maximum penalty of a $100,000 fine and no more than 40 years in prison on the second degree criminal sexual conduct charge.

Bal is currently serving 11 to 20 years in prison for his previous convictions.

                     










Bal trial set in Wisconsin
Iron Mountain Daily News
By LISA M. REED,Staff Writer
POSTED: April 16, 2008
http://www.ironmountaindailynews.com/page/content.detail/id/10437.html?showlayout=0

FLORENCE, Wis. — Former Iron Mountain police officer Phillip Bal will be tried on a criminal sexual contact charge-second degree in Florence County in September.

Bal, 34, is currently serving an 11- to 20-year prison sentence after being convicted of criminal sexual conduct-first degree and home invasion-first degree in Dickinson County Circuit Court in May 2007.

Bal’s Florence jury trial is set for Sept. 4, said Florence County District Attorney Doug Drexler.

The charge in Florence County is based on an alleged April 2005 incident involving an Iron Mountain woman at the C & R in Aurora, Wis.

The CSC-second degree charge carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.

Iron Mountain attorney Julie LaCost is representing Bal.

                     








Police officer’s trial delayed
Marquette Mining Journal, MI
August 4, 2007
http://www.miningjournal.net/stories/articles.asp?articleID=18330

IRON MOUNTAIN — The start of a jury trial for a former Iron Mountain Police officer in Florence County has been delayed.

Phillip Bal, 34, was scheduled to appear in Florence County Circuit Court today on a charge of criminal sexual conduct-second degree.

The charge involves an alleged incident in April 2005 involving an Iron Mountain woman at the C & R Bar in Aurora, Wis.

The criminal sexual conduct-second degree charge carries a maximum of 40 years in prison.

Florence County Circuit Court Judge Robert Kennedy heard a motion from attorney Frank Stupak of Escanaba on Tuesday to withdraw as counsel for Bal.

Prior to his sentencing in Dickinson County Circuit Court on charges of criminal sexual conduct-first degree and home invasion-first degree, Bal dismissed Stupak as his legal counsel and retained the services of attorney Sanford Schulman of Detroit. Bal was sentenced to 11 to 20 years in prison.

Judge Kennedy delayed granting Stupak’s motion to withdraw until it can be established who will represent Bal in Wisconsin.

                       









Bal blames media, says victim is lying
The Daily News
By PETE FRECCHIO, Staff Writer
Thursday, July 19, 2007
http://www.ironmountaindailynews.com/stories/articles.asp?articleID=6994

IRON MOUNTAIN — In Dickinson County Circuit Court on Wednesday, convicted sex offender Phillip Bal told Judge Richard Celello he was sentencing "an innocent man.”

Celello, saying he had thought long and hard about his decision, sentenced Bal, 34, of Iron Mountain, to 11 to 20 years in prison.At a jury trial in May, Bal, a former Iron Mountain police officer, was found guilty of criminal sexual conduct-first degree and home invasion-first degree.

The charges were related to an assault on an Iron Mountain woman at her home in April 2004.Celello sentenced Bal to 11 to 20 years on each count. The two sentences will run concurrently. Bal was given credit for 55 days served and ordered to register as a sex offender.

"This is one of the most difficult cases I have ever presided over," Celello told Bal. "(The defense) questioned the decision making methods of the jury. I can’t second guess the jury. I am not punishing you because you are a former police officer," Celello told Bal.

Bal told the court that since he was off-duty when the incident occurred, he should not be held to a higher standard because he was a police officer.

"Bal being a police officer should definitely be considered in determining his sentence," said special prosecuting attorney Jennifer Mazzuchi of Marquette. "When a gang member is involved in a crime, people are not shocked. When a police officer is involved in a crime, people are shocked. It is an abuse of his power."

At his first sentencing hearing on June 27, Bal informed the court he wished to dismiss attorney Frank Stupak of Escanaba and retain the services of appellate attorney Sanford Schulman of Detroit. The change in legal counsel delayed Bal’s sentencing three weeks.

Emotions were running high as supporters of both Bal and the victim filled the benches in the third floor courtroom.

In response to a statement Bal made before the court saying the victim was lying, Judge Celello responded, "The victim is telling the truth. She was brutally assaulted by you. I can’t think of anything short of murder that is as bad as what happened here. Alcohol has caused you terrible problems in your life," Celello said.

Several motions brought forward by Schulman concerning a proposed polygraph test, the jury’s method of reaching a guilty verdict and sentencing guidelines in the pre-sentence report were denied by Judge Celello.

In his statement before the court, an emotional Bal said the justice system let him down.

"I stand before you an embarrassed and humiliated man," he said. "My sinful and immoral action is responsible for everything that has happened.

I apologize to my wife for breaking her trust and violating the sanctity of our marriage. Her love has kept me strong. I will spend the rest of my life making it up to her," Bal said.

"I apologize to my (four) kids, my parents, my family and my friends for what has happened the last 15 months and for letting them down," he continued. "I thank everyone for their letters of support. I thank the people of St. Mary and St. Joseph church for welcoming my family there and for the support they will give them when I am gone. I apologize to (the victim) and her family for what I have done. I pray life will return to normal for them."

Bal went on to list a number of injustices he felt had occurred.

"Several stories in the newspaper (about my case) slowly poisoned the selection of my jury and took away any chance I had for a fair trial," he said.

"My family was publicly humiliated. Because I was a police officer, my name and my family’s name was dragged through the mud. I lost my job. The prosecution never asked me for my side of the story," Bal said.

"The court allowed two women who had cases pending against me to testify against me," he said.

"Jurors later said they used that (information) to convict me. I was convicted based on what was said about two cases that never went to trial," he said."

I never asked for special treatment because I was a police officer. I feel I was prosecuted because I was a police officer. I ask the court for mercy and leniency. I have four kids that need a father. I have a wife who needs a husband. God has forgiven me. The victim is lying. You are sentencing an innocent man," Bal said.

Bal will be remanded to the custody to the Michigan Department of Corrections. He will be transported to the Southern Michigan Correctional Facility in Jackson where he will be a part of the general prison population.

Bal’s attorney, Sanford Schulman, said an appeal will be filed.

"(Bal) was convicted on the testimony of two women whose charges against (Bal) were never brought to trial. The jury was hit with three cases at once. The evidence in the (case of the victim) was weak," said Schulman.

A Wisconsin woman who says she was involved in an encounter with Bal in the mid-1990’s attended Wednesday’s sentencing. She approached The Daily News outside the courthouse to offer her thoughts on Bal.

"It’s been 12 years, but justice was finally served," she said. "Bal was lying in court today. I saw firsthand what he is capable of," the woman said. The unnamed woman says she hopes to see the other man that was involved in her encounter with Bal brought to justice. "Eventually, it all catches up with them," she said.

Bal could still face a criminal sexual conduct charge involving an Iron Mountain woman in May 2005 at the C&R Bar in Aurora, Wis.

Florence County District Attorney Douglas Drexler has indicated he will decide shortly how he will proceed.

Bal is facing one count of criminal sexual conduct—second degree, a charge that carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.



Monday, August 25, 2008

Officer Ken DeKleine - Sentenced - Holland PD





ORIGINAL CHARGE: OPEN MURDER
MDOC NUMBER: 696620
CURRENT STATUS: PRISONER
LOCATION: SAGINAW CORRECTIONAL FACILITY
SECURITY LEVEL: IV
EARLIEST RELEASE DATE: LIFE
MAXIMUM DISCHARGE DATE: LIFE
OFFENSE: HOMICIDE- MURDER FIRST DEGREE- PREMEDITATED
MCL #: 750.316A
COURT FILE # : 08032191-FC
COUNTY: OTTAWA
CONVICTION TYPE: JURY
MINIMUM SENTENCE: LIFE
MAXIMUM SENTENCE: LIFE
DATE OF OFFENSE: 01/10/2008
DATE OF SENTENCE: 08/25/08


Officer Ken DeKleine - Sentencing Hearing - Lori DeKleine Murder

Family blames killer cop, 'blue wall' of protection
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
By John Tunison
The Grand Rapids Press
http://www.mlive.com/news/grpress/index.ssf?/base/news-43/12197565307910.xml&coll=6

GRAND HAVEN -- The family of Lori DeKleine says she fell victim to her police officer husband and the "blue wall," the supposed closing of ranks among police to shelter an officer doing wrong.

Nearly eight months after Ken DeKleine murdered his estranged wife, her family has trouble understanding how DeKleine's police officer friends never recognized his hidden rage, or how he escaped being charged with restraining-order violations.

In a Grand Haven courtroom Monday, Lori DeKleine's parents and sister mostly focused their anger on Ken DeKleine, not the police, as a judge sentenced him to life in prison without parole. In fact, Patti Ticknor, Lori DeKleine's sister, shuddered as she looked toward DeKleine and described her hostility.

"I want Ken DeKleine to never see the light of day again. He has shown no value for human life," she said.

Ticknor and her parents, Jena and Paul Meulman, all told how Lori DeKleine's murder shattered their lives. Ken DeKleine, who kept his emotions in check at his July trial and again Monday, said nothing when offered the chance to speak.

Ticknor later said she hoped he would say something, even apologize, but realized her hopes were "a fantasy."

DeKleine, a 13-year Holland police officer before his Jan. 11 arrest, confessed on videotape to strangling his estranged wife. They were going through a divorce and child custody battle and DeKleine, who portrayed Lori DeKleine as mentally unstable, told others he did it for his children.

The Meulmans said Monday they knew Ken DeKleine was abusive and controlling toward their daughter when she confided in them in December 2006 and afterward.

Ken DeKleine began slipping over the edge, they believe, when he returned from a year's stint in Iraq and realized his wife would no longer submit to his control.

But they still cannot fathom the murder.

"I have spent many sleepless nights trying to understand Ken's selfish act," Paul Meulman said. "And I wonder why the Holland Police Department was not more effective in protecting her."

But as he did in January, Holland Police Chief John Kruithoff said Monday there is no "blue wall" at the Holland Police Department.

Lori DeKleine's two reports of restraining-order violations -- instances in which Ken DeKleine came near her at her church workplace and a Memorial Day parade -- were documented by police but found to be incidental by prosecutors and he was not charged.

"I would not protect any officer doing something wrong," Kruithoff said.

Kruithoff said he never received calls from Lori DeKleine's family or friends that she might be in danger and Ken DeKleine, in a jail letter, wrote that he kept his deadly intentions a secret.

In court, Ticknor described how she finally became good friends with her sister about a year ago, with Ken DeKleine no longer "pulling the strings." She told her sister she loved her on Christmas Day.

"Ken has robbed me of the joy I experienced in connecting with her," she said.











Former policeman sentenced to life for killing wife
Tue, Aug 26, 2008
BY MEGAN SCHMIDT
Holland Sentinel Writer
http://www.grandhaventribune.com/paid/298153083593607.bsp



"Former Holland police officer Ken DeKleine tried to play God when he murdered his wife..."

That's what Lori DeKleine's family told the court just before Ken DeKleine was sentenced Monday in Ottawa County Circuit Court in Grand Haven to spend the rest of his life in prison without parole.

By cutting Lori DeKleine's life short, "Ken took upon himself the role of God," said Jena Meulman, Lori DeKleine's mother. "I will never be able to trust anyone again the way I trusted Ken."

Ken DeKleine, 45, was convicted in July on charges of first-degree murder and felony murder. His wife, Lori DeKleine, 43, was found dead in January in the basement of her Holland home with a climbing strap tied around her neck.

Ken DeKleine confessed to the murder one day after her body was found. He told investigators that after he killed his wife and dragged her body to the basement, he panicked and abandoned his plan to make her death look like a suicide.

Ken DeKleine gave no statement Monday, but smiled and winked at family in the room.

As DeKleine stood facing his wife's family in the courtroom, Lori DeKleine's father, Paul Meulman, said the abuse Lori endured in her marriage was something she kept private.

"Her stories about Ken's abuse of her were told to only a small group of people," Meulman said. "I was included in that small group of people. ... Ken deceived and manipulated many people with his side of the story."

Meulman voiced disappointment with the police department where Ken DeKleine worked.

"I have wondered why the Holland police were not more effective in protecting Lori," he said.

Several Holland officers testified during the trial in July that Ken DeKleine seemed obsessed with his troubled marriage. He framed his wife as emotionally unstable to anyone who would listen, many of them said.

At the same time, he was a well-liked officer who excelled at the job, they said.

Lori DeKleine's sister, Patti Ticknor, told the court Monday that Ken DeKleine's interference caused rifts between the sisters for years.

"What hurts the most is that in the last 20 years, I did not get to have a relationship (with Lori) where Ken wasn't pulling the strings," she said.

Just before the murder, the sisters had reconciled, she said.



"On Christmas Day, I told her I loved her," Ticknor said.

After giving the sentence, Judge Calvin Bosman said it was a mystery that Ken DeKleine plotted the murder for a year, never considering handling his issues with Lori DeKleine in another way.

"Why, during the course of a year, didn't something trigger in your mind that there would be a different way to proceed in this matter?" Bosman asked.

After the sentencing, Paul Meulman said that his daughter never tried to damage her husband's reputation the way he did hers.

"She never played his game," he said. "She wouldn't tell anyone about the things going on, but she did start telling us."

Meulman recalled sitting down with Ken DeKleine after Lori DeKleine told him about the abuse in her relationship.

Lori DeKleine first mentioned it to him after Ken DeKleine returned from a 2006 stint as a police officer in Iraq, he said.

"When Lori started opening up to us, we started to talk to him," Meulman said. "We had quite a long discussion with him about how controlling he was."

Meulman said Ken DeKleine showed little interest or remorse in that conversation.

"He won't listen to other people," Meulman said. "He's always been that way. As head of the household, he was always right."










Ex-officer sentenced in wife's death
Traverse City Record
August 26, 2008 09:40 am
http://www.record-eagle.com/statenews/local_story_239094059.html

GRAND RAPIDS -- A former Holland police officer has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing his wife.

Forty-five-year-old Ken DeKleine said nothing during his sentencing Monday, which followed his conviction last month on a charge of first-degree murder in 43-year-old Lori DeKleine's death.

Court testimony showed the DeKleines were going through a bitter divorce and custody battle.

Ottawa County Circuit Judge Calvin Bosman told DeKleine it's "a total mystery" why he didn't consider another course of action given his Christian education, police training and good record.













Changes in Holland PD after DeKleine murder
August 25, 2008 - 5:07PM
WWMT- Channel 3
http://www.wwmt.com/articles/holland_1352666___article.html/murder_changes.html

HOLLAND, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - In the wake of the conviction and sentencing of former Holland Police officer Ken DeKleine for the murder of his wife, the Holland Police Department has made some changes to better support and protect each other.

"Because law enforcement is one of those careers, where it's stressful to be a cop and deal with what we deal with everyday," said Capt. Jack Dykstra of the Holland Police Department.

Which is why in Holland, a peer support team is available and has been for several years. What's new in the last few months is that family and friends of officers can voice their concerns through an on-line yahoo group.

The city's Human Resources Director also says that all 425 Holland employees get two free counseling sessions a year, and that has been an option for those employees for 20 years.

"The program has really been utilized across the board, by a lot of different people," said Gary Rahn, HR Director for the City of Holland.

Back at the police department, Capt. Dykstra isn't sure if the latest changes to the system could have helped spot what happened with officer Ken DeKleine.

"It could have given someone in the family a voice that they feel they didn't have," said Dykstra.

Which is what the Capt. says they are after, communication, both inside and outside of the Holland Police Department.

Capt. Dykstra said that the department has "challenged all the employees, not only police officers, but all the employees to say; hey, don't be afraid to admit this is stressful and it affects your family."

The Holland Police Department has also increased the frequency of its employee evaluations from once a year to once every four months.










Ex-police officer sentenced in wife's death
Monday, August 25, 2008 at 3:17 p.m.
NBC 25, Michigan
http://www.weyi.com/news/news_story.aspx?id=180022




(AP) -- GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A former Holland police officer has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing his wife.

Forty-five-year-old Ken DeKleine said nothing during his sentencing Monday, which followed his conviction last month on a charge of first-degree murder in 43-year-old Lori DeKleine's death.

Court testimony showed the DeKleines were going through a bitter divorce and custody battle.

Ottawa County Circuit Judge Calvin Bosman told DeKleine it's "a total mystery" why he didn't consider another course of action given his Christian education, police training and good record.











Ex-Holland officer sentenced in wife's death
Associated Press
August 25, 2008 2:54 PM ET
WSJV News, South Bend Indiana
http://www.fox28.com/Global/story.asp?S=8895451

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - A former Holland police officer has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing his wife.

Forty-5-year-old Ken DeKleine said nothing during his sentencing Monday, which followed his conviction last month on a charge of first-degree murder in 43-year-old Lori DeKleine's death.Ex-Holland officer sentenced in wife's death.

Court testimony showed the DeKleines were going through a bitter divorce and custody battle.

Ottawa County Circuit Judge Calvin Bosman told DeKleine it's "a total mystery" why he didn't consider another course of action given his Christian education, police training and good record.











Ex-Holland officer sentenced in wife's death
Associated Press
August 25, 2008 2:54 PM ET
WLNS TV 6 Lansing MI
http://www.wlns.com/Global/story.asp?S=8895451&nav=menu25_2

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - A former Holland police officer has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing his wife.

Forty-5-year-old Ken DeKleine said nothing during his sentencing Monday, which followed his conviction last month on a charge of first-degree murder in 43-year-old Lori DeKleine's death.

Court testimony showed the DeKleines were going through a bitter divorce and custody battle.

Ottawa County Circuit Judge Calvin Bosman told DeKleine it's "a total mystery" why he didn't consider another course of action given his Christian education, police training and good record.






Ex-Holland officer sentenced in wife's death
MLIVE
8/25/2008, 2:48 p.m. EDT
The Associated Press
http://www.mlive.com/newsflash/index.ssf?/base/news-56/1219682946315930.xml&storylist=newsmichigan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A former Holland police officer has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing his wife.

Forty-five-year-old Ken DeKleine said nothing during his sentencing Monday, which followed his conviction last month on a charge of first-degree murder in 43-year-old Lori DeKleine's death.

Court testimony showed the DeKleines were going through a bitter divorce and custody battle.

Ottawa County Circuit Judge Calvin Bosman told DeKleine it's "a total mystery" why he didn't consider another course of action given his Christian education, police training and good record.










Ex-Holland officer sentenced in wife's death
WSBT NEWS
Story Created: Aug 25, 2008 at 2:36 PM EDT
Story Updated: Aug 25, 2008 at 4:27 PM EDT
http://www.wsbt.com/news/regional/27362104.html

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A former Holland police officer has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing his wife.

Forty-five-year-old Ken DeKleine said nothing during his sentencing Monday, which followed his conviction last month on a charge of first-degree murder in 43-year-old Lori DeKleine's death.

Court testimony showed the DeKleines were going through a bitter divorce and custody battle.

Ottawa County Circuit Judge Calvin Bosman told DeKleine it's "a total mystery" why he didn't consider another course of action given his Christian education, police training and good record.









Former Holland police officer sentenced for killing his wife
Posted By: Matt Campbell
WZZM NEWS
2:30pm, August 25,2008
http://www.wzzm13.com/news/most_popular_story.aspx?storyid=97550&provider=top



Grand Haven, MI (WZZM) - "I want Ken DeKleine to never see the light of day."

That was what Lori DeKleine's sister told a judge Monday morning at the former Holland police officer's sentencing for his wife's murder.

An Ottawa County Circuit Court judge sentenced DeKleine to life in prison without possibility of parole for the January murder.

Prosecutors say DeKleine was in the home and strangled his wife to death, then staged the scene to look like a suicide. DeKleine later confessed to the murder during a police interview.

DeKleine remained emotionless during his sentencing. The judge asked, "Mr. Dekleine anything you'd like to say?" He responded, "No, your honor.

However, Lori DeKleine's family had plenty to say as they stood a few feet from the son-in-law they once trusted. Gena Meulman is the victim's mother, "I now have peace that Lori is safe and free from a life of abuse and control." She told the court.

Lori's father, Paul Meulman, also spoke, "She has been released from from her world of fear, abuse and violence, into her heavenly home." On July 11, a jury took less than 90 minutes to find DeKleine guilty of killing his wife, Lori, at their home. She was seeking a divorce, and had personal protection orders out against him.

Lori' DeKleine's only sibling, Patty Ticknor choked back the tears as she spoke in court, "The pain and despair I feel are beyond words." Ticknor said she had recently reconciled with her sister, renewing a relationship she said Ken DeKleine had ruined 20 years ago.

"I want Ken DeKleine to never see the light of day again to be placed in the worst possible prison far away from the state of Michigan." And, she hoped the 13 year police officer would be imprisoned - for life - amongst the general prison population.










DeKleine sentenced to life for killing wife
By MEGAN SCHMIDT
The Holland Sentinel
Posted Aug 25, 2008 @ 12:52 PM
Last update Aug 25, 2008 @ 05:52 PM
http://www.hollandsentinel.com/news/x1311851501/DeKleine-sentenced-to-life-for-killing-wife

Grand Haven, MI — Former Holland police officer Ken DeKleine tried to play God when he murdered his wife.

That’s what Lori DeKleine’s family told the court just before Ken DeKleine was sentenced in Ottawa County Circuit Court in Grand Haven, Monday, Aug. 25, to spend the rest of his life in prison without parole.

By cutting Lori DeKleine’s life short, “Ken took upon himself the role of God,” said Jena Meulman, Lori DeKleine’s mother, in a statement. “I will never be able to trust anyone again the way I trusted Ken.”

Ken DeKleine, 45, was convicted in July on charges of first-degree murder and felony murder. His wife, Lori DeKleine, 43, was found dead in January in the basement of her Calvin Avenue home with a climbing strap tied around her neck.

Ken DeKleine confessed to the murder one day after her body was found.

He told investigators that after he killed his wife and dragged her body to the basement, he panicked and abandoned his plan to make her death look like a suicide.

Ken DeKleine gave no statement Monday, but smiled and winked at family in the room. As he stood facing his wife’s family in the courtroom, Lori DeKleine’s father Paul Meulman said the abuse Lori endured in her marriage was something she kept private.

“Her stories about Ken’s abuse of her were told to only a small group of people. I was included in that small group of people,” Meulman said.

Meanwhile, Meulman said, “Ken deceived and manipulated many people with his side of the story.”

Meulman voiced disappointment with the police department where Ken DeKleine worked.

“I have wondered why the Holland police were not more effective in protecting Lori,” he said.

Several Holland officers testified during the trial in July that Ken DeKleine seemed obsessed with his troubled marriage. He framed his wife as emotionally unstable to anyone who would listen, many of them said.

At the same time, he was a well-liked officer who excelled at the job, they said.

Lori DeKleine’s sister, Patti Ticknor, told the court Monday that Ken DeKleine’s interference caused rifts between the sisters for years.

“What hurts the most is that in the last 20 years, I did not get to have a relationship (with Lori) where Ken wasn’t pulling the strings,” she said.

Just before the murder, the sisters had reconciled, she said.

“On Christmas Day, I told her I loved her,” Ticknor said.

After giving the sentence, Judge Calvin Bosman said it was a mystery that Ken DeKleine plotted the murder for a year, never considering handling his issues with Lori DeKleine in another way.

“Why, during the course of a year, didn’t something trigger in your mind that there would be a different way to proceed in this matter?” Bosman asked.

After the sentencing, Paul Meulman said that his daughter never tried to damage her husband’s reputation the way he did hers.

“She never played his game,” he said. “She wouldn’t tell anyone about the things going on but she did start telling us.”

Meulman recalled sitting down with Ken DeKleine after Lori DeKleine told him about the abuse in her relationship.

Lori DeKleine first mentioned it to him after Ken DeKleine returned from a 2006 stint as a police officer in Iraq, he said.

“When Lori started opening up to us, we started to talk to him,” Meulman said. “We had quite a long discussion with him about how controlling he was.”

He showed little interest or remorse in that conversation, Meulman said.

“He won’t listen to other people,” he said. “He’s always been that way. As head of the household, he was always right.”


Patti Ticknor, left, sister of Lori DeKleine, addresses the court during the sentencing of former Holland Police Officer Ken DeKleine Monday at the Ottawa County Courthouse in Grand Haven. Standing behind Ticknor is her father, Paul Meulman. Ken DeKleine was sentenced to life without parole for the January murder of his wife. (8/25/08). Dan Irving/The Holland Sentinel.







Jena and Paul Meulman, parents of Lori DeKleine, are greeted by family and friends following the sentencing of Ken DeKleine Monday at the Ottawa County Courthouse in Grand Haven. Ken DeKleine was sentenced to life without parole for the January murder of his wife Lori DeKleine at her Holland home. (8/25/08). Dan Irving/The Holland Sentinel







Former Holland Police Officer Ken DeKleine, left, convicted in the January murder of his wife Lori DeKleine, is led into the courtroom for sentencing Monday at the Ottawa County Courthouse in Grand Haven. DeKleine was sentenced to life without parole. (8/25/08). Dan Irving/The Holland Sentinel





Former Holland Police Officer Ken DeKleine, left, convicted in the January murder of his wife Lori DeKleine, listens to a statement from Lori's sister Patti Ticknor during his sentencing Monday at the Ottawa County Courthouse in Grand Haven. Lori's parents, Paul and Jena Meulman also addressed the court. DeKleine was sentenced to life without parole. (8/25/08). Dan Irving/The Holland Sentinel












Ex-officer sentenced to life for wife's murder
WWMT TV NEWS
August 25, 2008 - 11:52AM
http://www.wwmt.com/articles/wife_1352656___article.html/murder_home.html

Holland, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - In January, one of Lori DeKleine's children found her body in the basement of their home.

Initially police thought it was a suicide. Autopsy results proved otherwise.

They arrested her husband, Ken DeKleine the next day. The couple was in the process of getting a divorce.

In July a jury convicted him of murder. Monday, Ken DeKleine was back in court to hear his sentence, and hear from his victim's family.

Three very difficult statements were made by victims addressing Ken DeKleine. The convicted murderer is now going to prison for the rest of his life. There wasn't much mystery as to what would happen Monday. DeKleine got a mandatory sentence of life in prison for killing his wife Lori.

The trial was very one-sided. Little if any defense was presented. There was an enormous amount of physical evidence introduced, including the fact that Ken DeKleine's blood was found on Lori's clothes. Perhaps the most convincing evidence was that DeKleine admitted to the crime numerous times in chats and letters with family members, friends and even detectives.

This was an especially difficult trial because DeKleine served the community as a police officer and also had served in the military. Family members say they still don't understand it.

"The pain and despair I feel are beyond words. I don't understand how someone I once cared about was actually that evil and planned and brutally killed my sister cause he thought his kids would be better off," said Patti Ticknor, Lori's sister.

Despite what was said in court, DeKleine wrote in a letter shortly after the crime that it was quote "best for everybody" that she be dead for the sake of the family's two teenage children.













Former Holland Police Officer Ken DeKleine ordered to spend life in prison for killing wife
Posted by John Tunison
Muskegon Chronicle
August 25, 2008 11:49AM
http://blog.mlive.com/chronicle/2008/08/former_holland_police_officer.html


Former Holland Police Officer Ken DeKleine appears in Ottawa County Circuit Court for sentencing in the killing of his wife, Lori. Chronicle News Service.



GRAND HAVEN -- Former Holland Police Officer Ken DeKleine was ordered this morning to spend the rest of his life in prison without parole for killing his wife.

A 13-year Holland police officer, DeKleine, 45, was convicted in July of killing Lori DeKleine after a jury deliberated only 75 minutes.

DeKleine said nothing in court, but winked at family members seated in the courtroom.

Ottawa County Circuit Judge Calvin Bosman questioned why DeKleine did not get help when he was being overcome with the rage that led to the murder.

"With your Christian education, your training as a police officer, your good record as a police officer, why during the course of a year something didn't register in your mind there would be some other course of action to take remains a total mystery," Bosman said.


Ken DeKleine, left, in Ottawa County Circuit Court listens to statements made by family members of Lori DeKleine. The former Holland police officer was sentenced to life in prison without parole for her murder.


His video-taped confessions shows he entered the garage of his former Calvin Avenue home in the middle of the night Jan. 10, waited in attic for several hours, then pushed his way into the house after Lori DeKleine opened the door in the morning.


He admitted to strangling her with a climbing strap, then dragging her body into the basement and trying to stage a suicide. In the confession, he admitted to botching the scheme when he could not lift her body and simply leaving the unattached strap dangling from a rafter.

Court testimony showed DeKleine was in a bitter divorce and custody battle with Lori DeKleine, 43, and was obsessed with her relationship with her therapist. The couple have two teen children, Breanne and Christopher.


Family members of Lori DeKleine, including her mother, Jena Meulman, third from left, and her father, Paul Meulman, second from right, embrace outside Ottawa County District Court after Ken DeKleine was sentenced Monday.


The parents of Lori DeKleine and her sister, Patti Ticknor, made emotional statements before Bosman sentenced DeKleine, They said they cannot fathom why he took her life.

"Thoughts of this event plague my mind frequently. I have spent many sleepless nights trying to understand Ken's selfish act," said Lori DeKleine's father, Paul Meulman.

In court, Ticknor said she once respected and cared for Ken DeKleine, and admired him as a father, "until he thought it best to play God and kill Lori."


DeKleine portrayed his estranged wife as someone mentally unstable who was damaging their children psychologically, but Ottawa County Prosecutor Ron Frantz said the evidence did not show any problems. In fact, she was a good mother and was respected at her church job, he said.

In letters from jail, DeKleine told others he was at peace with his wife's killing and said he was "sleeping better now than I have in two years."

He wrote that the killing seemed like the best option to him.

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

DeKleine's fellow police officers said they never imagined he would resort to violence, even though many knew about his marital strife. Lori DeKleine had a personal protection order against her husband.

Lori DeKleine's family believes the Holland police department should have done more to recognize that one of their own officers was losing control. They believe DeKleine was protected by the "blue wall," although Holland Police Chief John Kruithoff has always said DeKleine showed no outward signs of trouble.

Her sister's death has motivated Ticknor to become involved with the Michigan Officer-involved Domestic Violence group and try to spread the word about how women can get help in abusive homes.

"Lori would be proud of us for having someone else learn from her situation," Ticknor said. "She would want someone's life to be saved."








Former Holland Police Officer Ken DeKleine ordered to spend life in prison for killing wife
by John Tunison
The Grand Rapids Press
Monday August 25, 2008, 11:27 AM
http://www.mlive.com/grpress/news/index.ssf/2008/08/former_holland_police_officer.html



GRAND HAVEN -- Former Holland Police Officer Ken DeKleine was ordered this morning to spend the rest of his life in prison without parole for killing his wife.


A 13-year Holland police officer, DeKleine, 45, was convicted in July of killing Lori DeKleine after a jury deliberated only 75 minutes.

DeKleine said nothing in court, but winked at family members seated in the courtroom.

Ottawa County Circuit Judge Calvin Bosman questioned why DeKleine did not get help when he was being overcome with the rage that led to the murder.

"With your Christian education, your training as a police officer, your good record as a police officer, why during the course of a year something didn't register in your mind there would be some other course of action to take remains a total mystery," Bosman said.


DeKleine, left, in Ottawa County Circuit Court listens to statements made by family members of Lori DeKleine. The former Holland police officer was sentenced to life in prison without parole for her murder.


His video-taped confessions shows he entered the garage of his former Calvin Avenue home in the middle of the night Jan. 10, waited in attic for several hours, then pushed his way into the house after Lori DeKleine opened the door in the morning.

He admitted to strangling her with a climbing strap, then dragging her body into the basement and trying to stage a suicide. In the confession, he admitted to botching the scheme when he could not lift her body and simply leaving the unattached strap dangling from a rafter.

Court testimony showed DeKleine was in a bitter divorce and custody battle with Lori DeKleine, 43, and was obsessed with her relationship with her therapist. The couple have two teen children, Breanne and Christopher.


Family members of Lori DeKleine, including her mother, Jena Meulman, third from left, and her father, Paul Meulman, second from right, embrace outside Ottawa County District Court after Ken DeKleine was sentenced Monday.


The parents of Lori DeKleine and her sister, Patti Ticknor, made emotional statements before Bosman sentenced DeKleine, They said they cannot fathom why he took her life.

"Thoughts of this event plague my mind frequently. I have spent many sleepless nights trying to understand Ken's selfish act," said Lori DeKleine's father, Paul Meulman.

In court, Ticknor said she once respected and cared for Ken DeKleine, and admired him as a father, "until he thought it best to play God and kill Lori."

DeKleine portrayed his estranged wife as someone mentally unstable who was damaging their children psychologically, but Ottawa County Prosecutor Ron Frantz said the evidence did not show any problems. In fact, she was a good mother and was respected at her church job, he said.

In letters from jail, DeKleine told others he was at peace with his wife's killing and said he was "sleeping better now than I have in two years."

He wrote that the killing seemed like the best option to him.

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

DeKleine's fellow police officers said they never imagined he would resort to violence, even though many knew about his marital strife. Lori DeKleine had a personal protection order against her husband.

Lori DeKleine's family believes the Holland police department should have done more to recognize that one of their own officers was losing control. They believe DeKleine was protected by the "blue wall," although Holland Police Chief John Kruithoff has always said DeKleine showed no outward signs of trouble.

Her sister's death has motivated Ticknor to become involved with the Michigan Officer-involved Domestic Violence group and try to spread the word about how women can get help in abusive homes.

"Lori would be proud of us for having someone else learn from her situation," Ticknor said. "She would want someone's life to be saved."








DeKleine sentenced to life in prison
Posted: Aug 25, 2008 10:16 AM CDT
Updated: Aug 25, 2008 11:43 AM CDT
WOODTV NEWS
http://www.woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=8894749&nav=0Rce











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


Ken DeKleine was sentenced Monday morning on first-degree murder charges. He was found guilty of the charge in July.

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.

The couple was in the process of a divorce. Their 16-year-old son found his mother's body and testified against his father during the trial.

DeKleine turned down the chance to speak before he was sentenced. But Lori DeKleine's family did.

Her mom, dad and sister talked about his ability to manipulate his wife and those around her. Lori's sister, Patti Ticknor, was blunt in her statement.

"I want Ken DeKleine to never see the light of day again.

To be placed in the worst possible prison, far away from the state of Michigan since he has shown no value for human life or emotion."

Her dad put some of the blame on the Holland Police, and claimed they protected DeKleine after Lori complained about his abusive behavior.












Former Officer Sentenced To Life For Killing Wife
POSTED: 9:27 am EDT August 25, 2008
UPDATED: 1:51 pm EDT August 25, 2008
NEWS NET 5
http://www.newsnet5.com/news/17286568/detail.html

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- A former Holland police officer has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing his wife.

Ken DeKleine, 45, said nothing during his sentencing Monday, which followed his conviction last month on a charge of first-degree murder in 43-year-old Lori DeKleine's death.

Court testimony showed the DeKleines were going through a bitter divorce and custody battle.

Ottawa County Circuit Judge Calvin Bosman told DeKleine it's "a total mystery" why he didn't consider another course of action given his Christian education, police training and good record.







Ex-Holland officer gets life in wife's death
Midday update
ASSOCIATED PRESS •
AUGUST 25, 2008 •
FROM Lansing State Journal

GRAND RAPIDS - A former Holland police officer has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing his wife.

Forty-five-year-old Ken DeKleine said nothing during his sentencing Monday, which followed his conviction last month on a charge of first-degree murder in 43-year-old Lori DeKleine's death.

Court testimony showed the DeKleines were going through a bitter divorce and custody battle.

Ottawa County Circuit Judge Calvin Bosman told DeKleine it's "a total mystery" why he didn't consider another course of action given his Christian education, police training and good record.











Ex-Holland Officer Sentenced In Wife's Death
WXMI NEWS
August 25, 2008
http://fox17.trb.com/news/082508-wxmi-sentencn,0,6915519.story

HOLLAND-AP — A former Holland police officer has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing his wife.

Forty-five-year-old Ken DeKleine said nothing during his sentencing Monday, which followed his conviction last month on a charge of first-degree murder in 43-year-old Lori DeKleine's death.

Court testimony showed the DeKleines were going through a bitter divorce and custody battle.

Ottawa County Circuit Judge Calvin Bosman told DeKleine it's "total mystery" why he didn't consider another course of action given his Christian education, police training and good record.









Ex-Holland officer sentenced in wife's death
WOODTV
August 25, 2008
http://www.woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=8895433&nav=menu44_2_2

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- A former Holland police officer has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing his wife.

Forty-five-year-old Ken DeKleine said nothing during his sentencing Monday, which followed his conviction last month on a charge of first-degree murder in 43-year-old Lori DeKleine's death.

Court testimony showed the DeKleines were going through a bitter divorce and custody battle.

Ottawa County Circuit Judge Calvin Bosman told DeKleine it's "a total mystery" why he didn't consider another course of action given his Christian education, police training and good record.










Ex-Mich. officer gets life in prison for murder
August 25, 2008
PoliceOne.com, California
By John Tunison
Grand Rapids Press
http://www.policeone.com/legal/articles/1729023-Ex-Mich-officer-gets-life-in-prison-for-murder/

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — Former Holland Police Officer Ken DeKleine was ordered this morning to spend the rest of his life in prison without parole for killing his wife.

A 13-year Holland police officer, DeKleine, 45, was convicted in July of killing Lori DeKleine after a jury deliberated only 75 minutes.

DeKleine said nothing in court, but winked at family members seated in the courtroom.

Ottawa County Circuit Judge Calvin Bosman questioned why DeKleine did not get help when he was being overcome with the rage that led to the murder.

"With your Christian education, your training as a police officer, your good record as a police officer, why during the course of a year something didn't register in your mind there would be some other course of action to take remains a total mystery," Bosman said.

His video-taped confessions shows he entered the garage of his former Calvin Avenue home in the middle of the night Jan. 10, waited in attic for several hours, then pushed his way into the house after Lori DeKleine opened the door in the morning.

He admitted to strangling her with a climbing strap, then dragging her body into the basement and trying to stage a suicide. In the confession, he admitted to botching the scheme when he could not lift her body and simply leaving the unattached strap dangling from a rafter.

Court testimony showed DeKleine was in a bitter divorce and custody battle with Lori DeKleine, 43, and was obsessed with her relationship with her therapist. The couple have two teen children, Breanne and Christopher.

DeKleine portrayed his estranged wife as someone mentally unstable who was damaging their children psychologically, but Ottawa County Prosecutor Ron Frantz said the evidence did not show any problems. In fact, she was a good mother and was respected at her church job, he said.

In letters from jail, DeKleine told others he was at peace with his wife's killing and said he was "sleeping better now than I have in two years."

He wrote that the killing seemed like the best option to him.

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

DeKleine's fellow police officers said they never imagined he would resort to violence, even though many knew about his marital strife. Lori DeKleine had a personal protection order against her husband.







Extra security planned for DeKleine sentencing
By MEGAN SCHMIDT
The Holland Sentinel
Posted Aug 23, 2008 @ 11:31 PM
Last update Aug 23, 2008 @ 11:33 PM
http://www.hollandsentinel.com/news/x2090471065/Extra-security-planned-for-DeKleine-sentencing


Former Holland Police Officer Ken DeKleine, right, sits with his attorney Floyed Farmer as he listens to prosecution testimony during day two of his murder trial earlier this year in Grand Haven. DeKleine will be sentenced Monday, Aug. 25, for the murder of his wife, Lori. Dan Irving

    Grand Haven, MI — When former Holland Police Department Officer Ken DeKleine steps into the courtroom for sentencing on Monday, Aug. 25, he’ll be flanked by two Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office deputies.

The additional security is not typical for a sentencing, said Ottawa County Circuit Court Administrator Kevin Bowling.

“Often times for sentencings there might be one or two guards that would bring everybody in,” Bowling said, since multiple defendants are brought in to the courtroom at the same time for sentencings.Those guards act as security for all of the defendants, but DeKleine will have his own.

“There’s going to be a couple uniformed deputies assigned specifically to DeKleine to move him in and then move him out,” he said.

DeKleine will be sentenced Monday in Grand Haven on convictions of first-degree murder and felony murder for the January homicide of his wife, Lori DeKleine.

DeKleine was found guilty on both counts July 11 after less than 90 minutes of deliberation by a jury at Ottawa County Circuit Court in Grand Haven.

Lori DeKleine was found strangled in the basement of her home on Calvin Avenue on Jan. 10.

Bowling said he was not yet sure if Lori DeKleine’s family planned on making a statement at the sentencing.

A request for an interview that was sent to Lori DeKleine’s father this week was not returned.