Goshen News, Goshen, IN

January 14, 2014

Police to fight clemency request for Nine killer

By DENISE FEDOROW
CORRESPONDENT

— NAPPANEE — Police Chief Julie Dijkstra asked for support from the Nappanee Board of Works members on Monday for her trip to Indianapolis on Thursday to speak at the clemency hearing for Michael R. Steele.

Steele is the man who shot and killed Nappanee Police Officer Brant “Butch” Nine over 25 years ago in 1988.

Dijkstra told the board he can apply for clemency every four years. Steele is currently serving a 110-year term — 60 years for killing Nine and 50 years for shooting Officer Phil Hochstetler, who was killed in the line of duty in Warsaw years after Nine was killed.

Dijkstra is going to ask the clemency request be denied and is making the trip with Nine’s widow, Marah Lee, and with Brad Newcomer, owner of Newcomer’s Jewelry Store where the shooting took place. Dijkstra will be bringing a petition signed by Nappanee residents and others who want the clemency denied.

Police cars

The board approved a request for proposal for two 2014 four door sedan police patrol vehicles. The bids should be returned by 9 am on Jan. 27.

In other police business, the board approved a police officer’s trip to Phoenix, Ariz., to complete training to be a drug recognition expert. Dijkstra reported that the cost of the trip will be paid through a grant and the only cost to the city will be the cost of the officer’s meals.

In other business, board members:

• Approved the annual agreement with Indiana Landmarks as a consultant for the Historic Preservation Commission at an annual cost of $2,500. The agreement is the same as it has been for many years.

• Approved a public notice of intent to apply for funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development for the Combined Sewer Overflow project.

CLOSED FOR MLK DAY

All city offices will be closed Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.