|Birth: ||Jul. 15, 1947|
|Death: ||Nov. 3, 1988|
Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 6 years, 7 months
Badge # 86-03
Incident Date: 11/3/1988
Weapon: Officer's handgun
Suspect: Shot and wounded
Sergeant Brant Nine was shot and killed when he and another officer responded to a report of an individual who was passing a bad check at a jewelry store.
Sergeant Nine entered the store and attempted to arrest the suspect. When a struggle ensued, the suspect grabbed Sergeant Nine's service weapon and shot him once in the chest. As the suspect fled and exited the store, he was confronted by the other officer where gunfire was exchanged, leaving the suspect injured. Sergeant Nine was transported to a local hospital where he died from his wound.
The suspect was arrested and charged. He was later sentenced to 60 years for murder and 50 years for attempted murder. In August 2009, he was denied parole.
The other responding officer, Phillip D. Hochstetler, was killed in the line of duty while serving with the Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department on June 29, 1994.
Sergeant Nine had served with the Nappanee Police Department for over 6½ years. He was survived by his wife, son, daughter, stepson, stepdaughter, granddaughter, three brothers and three sisters.
In memoriam ... Brant "Butch" Nine
On Nov. 3, 1988, Nappanee Sgt. Brant "Butch" Nine was shot and killed when he and another officer responded to a report of an individual who was passing a bad check at a jewelry store.
Sgt. Nine entered the store and attempted to arrest the suspect. When a struggle ensued, the suspect grabbed Sgt. Nine's service weapon and shot him once in the chest. As the suspect fled and exited the store, he was confronted by the other officer where gunfire was exchanged, leaving the suspect injured. Sgt. Nine was transported to the hospital but died from his wound.
The suspect ultimately was sentenced to 60 years for murder and 50 years for attempted murder. In August 2009, he was denied parole.
Sgt. Nine served Nappanee for more than six years.
November 1, 2011
The Nappanee Police Department will hold the 23rd annual memorial of the death of Officer Brant Nine. Brant (Butch) was killed in the line of duty Nov. 3, 1988 while responding to a call at a local merchant regarding an individual attempting to pass a forged check. Officer Nine was 41 years old and had served on the Nappanee Department for six years prior to being shot in the line of duty. The Memorial Service will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Bremen Cemetery at the grave site for Officer Nine.
Nov 03, 2012 By Amanda Tetlak, Weekend Anchor/MJ
"Community remembers officer killed in the line of duty"
A Michiana man was killed in the line of duty more than twenty years ago, but he hasn't been forgotten.
Butch Nine was a police officer who was shot while trying to arrest a suspect in Nappanee 24 years ago.
Friends and family have gathered in his honor every year since then.
Those who worked alongside Butch say he was a dependable officer.
"He's not forgotten. Everybody looks at their job a whole lot differently when something like that happens in your town. But the town embraced us very well after that had happened for a long time," Bill Bickel, who worked with Nine.
Current and retired officers from the Nappanee Police Department were at the memorial to show their support.
Goshen News, Goshen, IN
October 20, 2013
Nov. 3 public commemoration of Butch Nine's death in 1988 will be the last
By DENISE FEDOROW Correspondent
---- — NAPPANEE
For the past 25 years the Nappanee Police Department and the City of Nappanee have commemorated the death of one of their fallen heroes, Sgt. Brant "Butch" Nine, with a public memorial service.
This year, however, will be the last time.
Nine, a veteran officer with the Nappanee Police Department, was shot and killed while responding to a call at a downtown jewelry store on Nov. 3, 1988.
"We've been talking about it the last couple of years," said the officer's widow, Marah Lee Nine, who goes by Lee. "There's basically a whole new crew at the police station. Those who would've known him have retired. So we felt it was time and decided the 25th year would be it."
The night Butch died, Lee, who owned a beauty parlor, was doing a client's hair. She heard the call that her husband had been shot come over the police scanner. She wanted to go but recalled her husband telling her not to unless the police department told her to do so. However, their son, Jim Powell, took off.
"He watched Butch die," Lee said. "He still won't talk about it."
It was a difficult time for the whole Nine family. Jim and his sister Angie were seniors at NorthWood High School. Angie's birthday was the day after her father was killed.
"Her birthdays have never been the same," Lee said. So much so that they had talked about changing her birthday celebration to March 26, the day that Lee adopted her as she was Butch's daughter from a previous marriage.
Jim had a regional football game to play in a few days later (he played and the team won). The Nines' other daughter, Darcy (McPheeters) was 24 at the time and had the family's first grandchild and was living at home since her husband was overseas in the service.
"It was really tough explaining to a 2-year-old where Grandpa is," Darcy said. "They were so close."
"Butch was trying to figure out how to put a car seat in the squad car," Lee joked.
It was tough moving forward for the kids. Jim joined the Navy after graduation. Angie was married without her dad to walk her down the aisle, and there were more grandchildren born that Butch wasn't there to see.
Lee said she "kept plugging along," but seemed to "have a tendency to spiral downward in October."
The support of other family members and friends and the community helped.
"I don't know how I'd have survived all that without (friends) John and Theresa Elliott," Lee said. "It's hard when you're part of a community and it's such a small community to be able to walk away."
Lee was referring to the community of police officers and their families. She said they continued to support and include her. The police wives were wonderful, she said, and they became quite knowledgeable about the Concerns of Police Survivors. That organization was only in its third or fourth year when Nine became involved. Darcy said it was a combined Illinois-Indiana organization, and her mother's involvement was instrumental in it becoming just an Indiana organization.
The family's feelings about Michael R. Steele, the man convicted of taking Butch's life, still run raw.
"He needs to rot in jail," Darcy said.
"He should stay in jail for the rest of his life," she said, "but I live with the reality that he'll be out someday."
Steele grabbed Nine's gun in an altercation and killed him with it and fired at Phillip Hochstetler, a young officer who was with Nine that day. Hochstetler was killed years later in the line of duty in Warsaw. Steele was sentenced to 110 years for the shootings, but is regularly up for parole.
"We will keep fighting until our days are ended to keep him (in prison)," Darcy said.
Her passion comes from concern over the protection of her mother. She's worried about past threats that Steele made against her.
"He called me from prison and asked ‘Why did you do this to me?'" Lee said. "It was such a shock."
While the decision was made to end the public memorials, Lee said holding annual events did make her feel better because she doesn't want people to forget Butch. That's why for this celebration she is asking people to share their Butch Nine stories so his memory is preserved for his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
There are 10 grandchildren, and Lee said the older ones have been pretty well "Butch Nine indoctrinated" and have memorialized him in their own way with tattoos. One grandson has tattooed on one arm "in valor there is hope" with a blue rose, like the police memorial in Washington D.C. On his other arm is a tattoo of Butch's badge with "gone but not forgotten".
Lee said she is looking forward to having all of her children at the event and seeing how people respond to the request for stories.
"We want it to be a happy day," she said. "A celebration."
If you go The Nappanee Police Department, City of Nappanee and the Brant "Butch" Nine family invite the public to attend the 25th celebration of Nine's life on Nov. 3. A procession will leave the Nappanee Police Department at 4:40 p.m. to travel to Bremen Cemetery, where a service will take place. At 6 p.m. the celebration will process back to Nappanee to Grace Point Church, 1155 N. Main St., for a reception. The family will have a special room with a video set up to record memories for the children and grandchildren. A memory book will also be available at the reception and people are encouraged to prepare their written memories in advance to bring to the reception. The family acknowledges that many of these stories have been shared over the years, but says now is the time to preserve them for the future.
Bremen Municipal Cemetery
Created by: Debra Polly
Record added: Nov 10, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 100505564