A Man Suspected Of Killing His Wife Still Won A Republican Primary Election
Despite being in the county jail since March, Andrew Wilhoite secured 60 votes in a local election for a township board seat.
A man accused of killing his wife and then tossing her body in a creek won a Republican primary election in Indiana for a spot on a local township board this week.
Despite facing a murder charge, 40-year-old Andrew Wilhoite is set to appear on the November ballot for a seat on the Clinton Township Board in Boone County, Indiana. He'll be one of three candidates, all Republican, looking to fill three seats on the local board.
Wilhoite won his spot in the May 3 election, garnering 60 votes in the local election despite being held in the Boone County jail without bail. Wilhoite did receive the lowest number of votes from the three candidates — the two other candidates received more than 100 votes — but with only three candidates vying for three seats, Wilhoite was able to secure a place in the November election.
On March 25, Boone County Sheriff officials were contacted by coworkers of Wilhoite's wife, Elizabeth "Nikki" Wilhoite, to report her missing.
According to her Facebook profile, she had been undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer.
Deputies responded to the couple's home in a rural area of Lebanon, Indiana, where they were unable to find her despite multiple deputies and bloodhounds searching for her.
According to a statement from sheriff officials, it was then that the case evolved into a homicide investigation, and officials contacted Indiana State Police to lead it.
Deputies reached out to the state agency because Andrew Wilhoite's mother, Marcia Wilhoite, has served as a county council member for nearly 17 years.
"To avoid any conflict of interest, it was decided to contact the Indiana State Police and ask them to lead the investigation and we would assist them," sheriff officials said in a statement.
State police officials allege Andrew Wilhoite got into an argument with his wife and, at one point, hit her in the head with a blunt object, making her lose consciousness.
"He then placed her into a vehicle and drove her to a nearby creek where he dumped her body," police said in a statement.
Her body was found the following day, only partially submerged in about 3 feet of water.
Wilhoite was taken into custody on March 26 and has remained in custody since.
According to state records, Wilhoite had entered his name to serve on the Clinton Township on Jan. 26.
Despite his arrest, Wilhoite is still eligible to win a seat on the township board in November.
According to state election requirements, a candidate would still be eligible for office unless they were to enter a plea of guilty for, or be convicted of, a felony.
Candidates for the upcoming election have until July 15 to withdraw their names from the ballot. The only exception for removing their name past that deadline, according to state requirements, would be disqualification by moving out of the district, death, or conviction of a felony.
Wilhoite is scheduled for trial in August.