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Man charged with wife's murder wins primary election, will be on November ballot

Andrew Wilhoite (Boone County Sheriff)
Andrew Wilhoite (Boone County Sheriff)
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An Indiana man who is currently in jail reportedly is one of three winners in a GOP primary, and will appear on this year's ballot for a township board seat.

Andrew Wilhoite, 39, is awaiting trial for the murder of his wife Elizabeth “Nikki” Wilhoite, according to WXIN News. He was reportedly arrested in March.

Nikki's body was pulled from a creek after her husband told deputies he dumped her there after striking her with a flower pot during a fight outside their home, WTHR News reports.

During Tuesday's Republican primary for the Clinton Township board seat, Wilhoite received 60 votes (21.74%), placing him behind the only other two candidates.

Since three candidates could win the nomination, and only three candidates ran, all three won, WTHR News explains. No Democrats ran in the primary for the Clinton Township board, WXIN News reports.

Speaking with the Kokomo Tribune, co-director of the bipartisan Indiana Election Division Brad King says nobody can remove Wilhoite from the ballot, but the murder suspect can withdraw from the race by June 15 if he wishes.

There is no legal reason he can’t be a candidate,” King reportedly said. “Under our system you are innocent until you are proven guilty. If a person is convicted of a felony, then they are no longer eligible to be a candidate and are ineligible to hold office.

Court documents reportedly say Wilhoite initially lied to detectives, saying he didn't know where his wife was after she failed to show up for work. Eventually, Wilhoite told police a different story, and Nikki's body was found.

Friends of Nikki tell WTHR News Nikki had just finished her last chemo treatment for breast cancer before she died. The couple had also already filed for divorce due to the husband’s extra-marital affair.

If Wilhoite does somehow win his general election, King says it would be possible for him to take his oath of office in jail, according to the Kokomo Tribune.

Any notary public can administer an oath of office, and that can be in any setting in which the person is available to have the oath administered and sign the oath of office," King said.

There is no scheduled date for Wilhoite's murder trial, according to WXIN News, and the husband must stay in jail until the trial.

Elected officials who cannot fulfill their duties due to incarceration are usually removed from office, but King reportedly says this is not the case for township board members.

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