Killer Vet's Body to Be Removed from Nat. Cemetery

Thursday, 12 Dec 2013 09:39 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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The body of an Army veteran who killed a woman during a shooting spree is set to be removed from a national cemetery.

Michael LeShawn Anderson was buried with full military honors, even though he had shot four people during his rampage in Indianapolis, killing Alicia Koehl, according to the Indianapolis Star.

But a bill that approves the removal of his body from Fort Custer National Cemetery in Michigan has passed Congress and has been sent to President Barack Obama for his signature.

Sponsored by Indiana Republican Sen. Dan Coats, the bill would also allow federal authorities to exhume other military veterans who have been buried with military honors despite having committed a capital offense.

"This bill protects the integrity of our national cemeteries, enforces current law and ensures that the families of our veterans can bury their loved ones among heroes," Coats said.

Last year, Anderson went on a shooting spree at an apartment complex in Indianapolis. He wounded three people and killed 45-year-old Koehl, an employee at the facility, and then killed himself.

Koehl's husband Paul said his wife's death has become an "instrument for justice and peace for our family, as well as the families of future victims."

Anderson was buried in the cemetery by mistake because federal law prohibits military burials in national cemeteries for people who commit capital crimes, even if they were not convicted because they died.

After the Department of Veterans Affairs said it was not able to authorize having Anderson's body removed, Coats introduced his bill, which was co-sponsored by his fellow Hoosier in the Senate, Democrat Joe Donnelly.

Anderson's remains will be turned over to his relatives for burial somewhere else.

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