Andrew Wilhoite Lebanon, Indiana man wins local GOP seat while awaiting trial for killing his wife Elizabeth Nikki Wilhoite who was in treatment for breast cancer.
An Indiana man accused of murdering his cancer-stricken wife and then dumping her body in a creek earlier this year is among the candidates to advance in a local election after Indiana’s primaries this week.
Andrew Wilhoite — who was charged in March with murdering 41-year-old Elizabeth ‘Nikki’ Wilhoite, allegedly striking her with a gallon-sized concrete flower pot, is one of three Republicans who secured a spot Tuesday in November’s upcoming election for the Clinton Township Board, the Indianapolis Star reported.
Wilhoite, 40, of Lebanon, has been in custody at the Boone County Jail since he told investigators he threw the flower pot at his wife’s head and dumped her body over the side of a bridge. The husband’s next due in court is on May 27.
The township board consists of three members and only three candidates entered the Republican field, while no one filed to run on the Democratic ticket. Wilhoite garnered 60 votes, compared to his competitors’ 110 and 106 votes, the Indianapolis Star reported.
Anyone facing felony charges can still run for local office, but they become ineligible upon conviction, according to state election rules.
No way to remove murder suspect’s name from ballot box
‘Under our legal system, every person is innocent until proven guilty,’ said Brad King, co-director of the Indiana Election Division. ‘If a candidate is ultimately convicted, then depending upon the timing of that conviction, the person can be replaced on the ballot by the political party that has a vacancy.’
Nevertheless, King noted there was no law barring anyone who is jailed ahead of trial from ‘exercising the duties of their office’ if they get elected.
‘How that practically gets executed will depend on the facts,’ King told the Indy Star.
Court documents obtained by WTHR show investigators finding traces of blood in the couple’s home after Nikki Wilhoite failed to show up to work at a Zionsville oral surgeon’s office.
Andrew Wilhoite told cops his wife had filed for divorce and that they had been arguing about his extramarital affair, claiming he had slept on the couch and didn’t see her when leaving for work, WTHR reported.
But Wilhoite later changed his version of events, conceding that he hit his wife on the head with a flower pot and then drove her body in his pickup truck to a Boone County bridge where he dumped it, court documents show.
Andrew Wilhoite’s trial is expected to begin in August, although it is likely to be delayed if there’s not a plea deal in the case.