A man charged with murder is among three candidates running in a primary election for a township council in central Indiana.
Andrew Wilhoite, 40, won nearly 22% of the 276 total votes this week in the Republican race for three Clinton Township council positions, according to Boone County election results.
That he finished in the top three was a given, though – there were only three contenders.
In addition, no candidate has submitted a candidacy for the Democratic primary, The Indianapolis Star reported. Clinton Township has an estimated population of 957, according to STATS Indiana data. Indiana’s township councils are made up of three members.
Wilhoite was arrested and charged with murder in late March in connection with the death of his wife, Elizabeth “Nikki” Wilhoite, according to Indiana State Police. Police said he was suspected of hitting his wife with a blunt object during a domestic dispute, knocking her unconscious. He then drove to a nearby stream where he dumped her body, police said.
Wilhoite has been held in Boone County Jail since his arrest, the Star. His next court hearing is set for May 27.
Unless convicted, those accused of crimes can legally run in local elections, state election officials said in Star.
“In our legal system, everyone is innocent until proven guilty,” Brad King, co-director of the Indiana Electoral Division, told the newspaper. “If a candidate is ultimately convicted, depending on when that conviction occurred, the person may be replaced on the ballot by the political party that has a vacancy.”
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