Incident DetailsCause of Death:
Detective Sergeant Ralph Akeman suffered a heart attack while testifying during a criminal trial in a change of venue at the Vanderburgh County Courthouse in Evansville.
On February 5, three men were arrested at one of the suspect's homes as they were cutting open a stolen safe in the basement. During a court hearing, a heated exchange ensued as Detective Sergeant Akeman was being examined by a defense attorney seeking the identity of a confidential informant and he collapsed on the witness stand.
Detective Sergeant Akeman, who had previously suffered a heart attack four years earlier, was transported to Welborn Hospital in Evansville where he died.
The 27-, 35- and 39-year-old men on trial were subsequently convicted and each were sentenced to 10 years in prison for second-degree burglary and auto banditry that was later affirmed upon appeal.
Detective Sergeant Akeman was survived by his wife, 10-year-old son and brother.
United States Navy
The Old Vanderburgh County Courthouse, at 201 NW 4th Street in Evansville, was built in 1888–1890 where it occupies an entire city block bounded by Fourth, Vine, Fifth and Court streets. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 4, 1970 and listed on the Indiana Register of Historic Sites and Structures on October 28, 1969.
The responsibilities of the Indianapolis Police Department (1854–2006) are now under the jurisdiction of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
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