Congress passes bill requested by the family of Indianapolis murder victim

December 11th, 2013 at 4:48 pm by under Jim Shella's Political Blog

Paul Koehl of Indianapolis was outraged when the man who killed his wife was buried in a national cemetery.  He turned to Congress for help and Congress responded on Wednesday.

A bill that will close a loophole in federal law is now on its way to the President’s desk.  The new law will be named after murder victim Alicia Dawn Koehl.

Alicia Koehl was killed in May of 2012 when a military veteran went on a shooting rampage at a north side apartment complex.
Michael Anderson also killed himself.  Relatives arranged for him to be buried at a national cemetary in Michigan.

Indiana Congresswoman Susan Brooks sponsored a bill that gives the Veteran’s Administration the authority to remove the body of any veteran buried in a national cemetary under false pretenses.

“Mr. Speaker, you can only imagine the indignation,” said Rep. Brooks in a floor speech, “when in the midst of their grief, family and friends found out that the killer of Alicia was allowed burial in a national cemetery with full military honors.”

“This bill would also specifically direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs,” said Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Florida) to disinterr the remains of Michael Leshawn Anderson from Fort Custer National Cemetary.”

It’s meant to give the Koehl family peace of mind but also to preserve the sanctity of national cemeteries.

“Our bravest men and women should be buried next to fellow heroes,” said Rep. Brooks, “and today we can make sure they always are.”

The bill passed on a vote of 398-to-1.

The bill is authored by Senator Dan Coats and it already passed the Senate.

If, as expected, the President signs it, Michael Anderson’s body will be removed from the Custer National Cemetery in Michigan and it will be up to his family to determine what happens from there.

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