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By John Tunison
Grand Rapids Press

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. - Former Holland Police Officer Ken DeKleine was ordered this morning to spend the rest of his life in prison without parole for killing his wife.
A 13-year Holland police officer, DeKleine, 45, was convicted in July of killing Lori DeKleine after a jury deliberated only 75 minutes.
DeKleine said nothing in court, but winked at family members seated in the courtroom.
Ottawa County Circuit Judge Calvin Bosman questioned why DeKleine did not get help when he was being overcome with the rage that led to the murder.
"With your Christian education, your training as a police officer, your good record as a police officer, why during the course of a year something didn't register in your mind there would be some other course of action to take remains a total mystery," Bosman said.
His video-taped confessions shows he entered the garage of his former Calvin Avenue home in the middle of the night Jan. 10, waited in attic for several hours, then pushed his way into the house after Lori DeKleine opened the door in the morning.
He admitted to strangling her with a climbing strap, then dragging her body into the basement and trying to stage a suicide. In the confession, he admitted to botching the scheme when he could not lift her body and simply leaving the unattached strap dangling from a rafter.
Court testimony showed DeKleine was in a bitter divorce and custody battle with Lori DeKleine, 43, and was obsessed with her relationship with her therapist. The couple have two teen children, Breanne and Christopher.
DeKleine portrayed his estranged wife as someone mentally unstable who was damaging their children psychologically, but Ottawa County Prosecutor Ron Frantz said the evidence did not show any problems. In fact, she was a good mother and was respected at her church job, he said.
In letters from jail, DeKleine told others he was at peace with his wife's killing and said he was "sleeping better now than I have in two years."
He wrote that the killing seemed like the best option to him.
"I feel so free. I am not worried sick by what (Lori DeKleine) is doing to the kids anymore by her lies, blackmail and extortion."
DeKleine's fellow police officers said they never imagined he would resort to violence, even though many knew about his marital strife. Lori DeKleine had a personal protection order against her husband.

Wire Service
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