Andrew Wilhoite is the man who won a primary election in Clinton Township, Indiana from jail where he is facing charges, accused of the murder of his wife, Elizabeth “Nikki” Wilhoite.
Indiana State Police allege Andrew Wilhoite murdered wife Nikki Wilhoite, 41, by hitting her with a blunt object. Police allege he then dumped her body near a creek. She was reported missing March 25, 2022, and her body was found early the next day, according to WTHR. Andrew Wilhoite initially denied any involvement in her killing, police told local news outlets. Indiana State Police wrote in court documents he later confessed to killing his wife with a flower pot. Wilhoite was nominated by Clinton Township voters to fill a spot as township supervisor. There were three open spots, and three people running for supervisor, according to the Indianapolis Star.
Wilhoite, 40, of Lebanon is awaiting trial in Boone County facing charges filed by Indiana State Police, according to his jail record. He was booked into jail March 26, 2022. He was denied bail in the case, his record shows.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Andrew Wilhoite & Nikki Wilhoite Were Raising a Family in Rural Indiana & She Was a Cancer Patient
Nikki Wilhoite had filed for separation from her husband the week before she was murdered, according to court documents reviewed by WTHR. The 41-year-old mother was a cancer patient, and had just completed her chemotherapy treatments the week before her death, the news outlet reported.
Wilhoite was a mother to a son, daughter and step-daughter, her obituary says. The obituary lists her estranged husband as “father of her children.” She spent her career working in the dental field, according to her obituary.
“Nikki loved spending time with her children. She enjoyed cooking, dancing, listening to music and 4-H,” her obituary says.
Jodi Metcalf, a friend of Nikki Wilhoite, told WTHR the pair instantly clicked.
“From day one, she and I had an instant connection!” she told WTHR. “I felt like I’d known her for a long time. And no matter what she was facing, she continued to smile and stay strong! She will be greatly missed and I pray for her sweet beautiful children.”
2. Nikki Wilhoite Was Killed With a Flower Pot & Her Body Was Found at a Creek
Indiana State Police said they took a statement March 25, 2022, and opened a missing persons case into the disappearance of Nikki Wilhoite. A friend told police she had not shown up to work. At about 3 a.m., he body was found partially submerged in water not far from her rural home, police said.
Indiana State Police alleged Wilhoite was responsible for the death of his wife.
“During the course of the investigation, detectives were able to determine that during the course of a domestic dispute, 39-year-old Andrew N. Wilhoite, Elizabeth’s husband, had allegedly struck her in the head with a blunt object causing her to lose consciousness,” police said in a statement. “He then placed her into a vehicle and drove to a nearby creek where he dumped her body.”
Nikki Wilhoite’s body was found near a creek in northwest Lebanon, Indiana, and Andrew Wilhoite told investigators he hit her with a flower pot during an argument, according to WTHR.
The Boone County Coroner conducted an autopsy and determined her manner of death was homicide, according to a statement from the office of Boone County Coroner Justin R. Sparks.
“My office will continue to work tirelessly on this investigation to provide detectives and the prosecutors office with scientific evidence in the support of justice for the victim, her family, and her loved ones,” the statement said.
3. Andrew Wilhoite’s Mother is a Boone County Councilwoman & the Sheriff Handed the Case Over to State Police
The Wilhoite family has a history in local government. Andrew Wilhoite’s mother, Marcia Wilhoite, is a Boone County at-large council member, according to the Boone County Sheriff’s Office and her government profile. She has been a member of the council since 2005, her profile says.
Marcia Wilhoite is a certified public accountant and owns her own business in Lebanon, her profile says. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a major in accounting, her profile says. She also serves in several other roles as a public servant, her profile says, serving as a member and Secretary of the Boone County Redevelopment Commission, a member of the Boone County REMC Board of Directors, a member of the Boone County Solid Waste Board, and a member of the 4-H Pavilion Building Committee.
The family also owns a farm, Wilhoite Family Farms, and Marcia Wilhoite serves as a partner and operator, the profile says.
He role in public service prompted the Boone County Sheriff’s Office to hand over the investigation to the Indiana State Police. State police is leading the investigation, and the sheriff’s office is assisting, the sheriff said in a statement.
“When our investigators realized this could be a possible homicide investigation, we wanted to do discuss the best way to move forward with the investigation since the mother of Andrew Wilhoite is a County Councilwoman, another county elected official,” said Sheriff Michael Nielsen. “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. This is another prime example of working with our law enforcement partners to solve a horrendous crime. I cannot be prouder of our Investigations team, Crime Scene Investigations team, the entire Sheriff’s Office staff, the Boone County Prosecutor’s Office and the Indiana State Police Investigators. Please keep all families and first responders in your thoughts and prayers.”
4. Nearly 22% of Clinton Township Voters Voted for Wilhoite, According to Election Results
Wilhoite was on the ballot to fill one of three vacant seats on the Clinton Township supervisor board, and only three people were running in the primary, according to the Boone County, Indiana 2022 Primary Election Results. All three of the candidates ran on the Republican ticket, and no candidates were running on the Democratic ticket.
A total of 276 Clinton Township voters turned out to vote, and 60 of those voters, or 21.74%, voted for Wilhoite. The two other candidates also running on the GOP ticket were Bradley J. Smith, who secured 110 votes, and Michael Young, who secured 106 votes. STATS Indiana indicates Clinton Township has a population of 906.
WTHR reported Wilhoite could be sentenced to 45 to 60 years in prison if he is convicted in the murder of his wife. Indiana State Police said in their initial statement he is facing a murder charge, a Level 1 Felony.
5. Wilhoite Could Serve as Township Supervisor From Jail if he Is Sworn In Before Conviction
Wilhoite remains eligible to run for local office unless he is convicted of a felony charge, Brad King, co-director of the Indiana Election Division, told the Indianapolis Star.
“Under our legal system, every person is innocent until proven guilty,” King told the newspaper. “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.”
If Wilhoite is elected in the general election and remains in jail without a conviction at the time he is sworn in, he could theoretically serve his duties from jail, King said. King told the newspaper no law prohibits an incarcerated person from “exercising the duties of their office.” But officials will make determinations if that situation unfolds, he said.
“How that practically gets executed will depend on the facts,” King said.
If Wilhoite is sworn in, and is then convicted of a felony, the vacancy will be filled by another GOP candidate, King told the newspaper.