Murdered Monroe County deputy honored 12 years later

MONROE COUNTY, Ind. -- A murdered central Indiana deputy is getting the recognition he deserves, 12 years later.

In the early morning hours of February 8, 2005, Monroe County Sgt. Bill Brand had just finished his shift at the jail. He crashed on his way home and it didn’t take long for investigators to figure out this wasn’t an accident.

“As the patrol officers were looking at the vehicle they noticed in the door frame of the upper section and there appeared to be a bullet hole,” said Brad Swain, Monroe County Sheriff.

Less than 24 hours later, a tip led to Benjamin Steinberg, a former inmate. Detectives determined Steinberg used a high powered rifle, drove alongside Brand, and shot and killed him.

Stacy Brand lost her husband that night and their 3-year-old son, Jake, who is turning 16 this summer, lost his dad.

“12 years, that’s twice as long as I was married to him but I promised him that I would do everything I could to make sure he was taken care of,” said Stacy Brand, Sgt. Brand’s widow.

Next week, the entire Brand family will go to Washington D.C. for National Police Week. Sgt. Brand’s name will be read during a dedication ceremony and his name will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

“It’s like reliving his death over and over again; little cuts, little wounds, little pain. In another way, it’s a sense of closure,” said Stacy Brand.

National recognition, a dozen years later, Brand’s family and law enforcement family feels it’s finally the honor he deserves for giving the ultimate sacrifice.

“It’s validation of a lifetime of work and that he did something great, he did something for his country, and his life and death was not in vain,” said Stacy Brand.

Steinberg was later convicted and is currently serving a 65-year sentence.

Also, as part of National Police Week, Deputy Carl Koontz will be honored in Washington D.C. Koontz was shot and killed in March of 2016.