Late Indiana officer’s family receives $275K in benefits

By The Associated Press

BLOOMINGTON — The widow of a southern Indiana jail officer killed by a former inmate is set to receive more than $275,000 after efforts to declare that her husband died in the line of duty.

The federal Public Safety Officer Benefits program approved the funds last week for Stacy Brand, the Herald-Times reported . The funds will go toward providing educational assistance to Brand and her teenage son, according to attorney John Shean.

“I hope that this recent decision brings justice to a full measure for Sgt. Brand and his survivors,” said Monroe County Sheriff Brad Swain on Thursday. “We have no other issues with the Brand case now.”

Sgt. Bill Brand was fatally shot in February 2005 while driving home after working a late shift at the Monroe County jail. Stacy Brand spent years proving her husband died in the line of duty by alleging the shooter was a former jail inmate who hated law enforcement officers.

Brand filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Benjamin Steinberg, who was later convicted of murder and sentenced to 65 years in prison for the sergeant’s death.

Brand and Shean “have always believed Bill was the specific target, and it was related to his role as a public safety officer. The odds against Sgt. Brand’s death being a random and strange coincidence are astronomical,” Swain said. “That fact has now been fully recognized by staff at state and national offices who make the determination of what qualifies to be a line of duty death.”

This year’s local Peace Officers Memorial Day ceremony named Bill Brand among area law enforcement officers who’ve died in the line of duty. The sergeant’s inclusion during the ceremony in May came after his name was added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington last year.

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