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Appeals court: No damages in officer death

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A Wisconsin appeals court says a slain police officer’s widow can’t collect damages from the insurance company that covered his killer.

James Cruckson shot Fond du Lac Police Officer Craig Birkholz during a standoff at Cruckson’s home in 2011. Cruckson ended up killing himself.

Birkholz’s widow, Ashley Birkholz, filed a lawsuit seeking damages from Germantown Mutual, Cruckson’s insurance company. Cruckson had a policy that covered damages he accidentally caused. A circuit judge ruled the policy doesn’t extend to damages Cruckson intentionally caused.

She argued on appeal it was dark at the time of the shooting, Cruckson fired multiple shots and he had no reason to hurt officers. But the 2nd District Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that Cruckson’s actions were clearly intentional.

Ashley Birkholz’s attorney had no immediate comment.

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