On Wednesday, Indiana Senator Dan Coats testified in support of the Alicia Dawn Koehl Respect for National Cemetaries Act. The bill is named after an Indianapolis woman who was shot and killed by a veteran who was later buried in a national cemetery.
Senator Coats is pushing for legislation that would give the V.A. the authority to remove veterans buried in national cemeteries who have committed a federal or state capital crime.
The bill would give the VA the authority to exhume the remains of Michael Lashawn Anderson, a veteran who shot and killed Alicia Dawn Koehl last year before committing suicide. The Koehl family later discovered that Anderson was buried at Fort Custer National Cemetery in Michigan.
Federal law prohibits veterans who have committed these crimes from being buried in a national cemetery. The VA hasn't exhumed Anderson's remains because of legal concerns.
The legislation is co-sponsored by Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly and North Carolina Senator Richard Burr. Senator Burr is a ranking member of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs.
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