By Dinesh Ramde
MILWAUKEE — A nonprofit group voted Wednesday to add the name of a Milwaukee-area police officer to a national memorial honoring officers killed in the line of duty.
Responding to pressure from Wisconsin's governor and others, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund agreed to add Wauwatosa police Officer Jennifer Sebena to the memorial in Washington, D.C. The 30-year-old officer was shot in the head multiple times on Christmas Eve as she conducted a routine solo patrol.
The group had previously excluded Sebena because her husband is a suspect in the shooting, meaning her death could be classified as a case of domestic violence.
Gov. Scott Walker, the Wisconsin Professional Police Association and more than 16,000 signatures on an online petition helped persuade the group to reverse its decision in a unanimous vote Wednesday, said WPPA spokesman Jim Palmer, who cast one of the 15 votes.
The Associated Press left messages with the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund seeking comment Wednesday.
Sebena's husband, 30-year-old Benjamin G. Sebena, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in her death. He has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect, and his trial is scheduled to start in three months.
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a private nonprofit group that maintains a memorial in honor of law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty. The names of more than 19,000 officers are carved on a pair of 300-foot-long curving marble walls, according to the group's website.
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Copyright 2013 Associated Press