Father talks about law named after daughter - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Father talks about law named after daughter

It wasn't Kelley's Law's first go through the state legislature, but it finally passed earlier in the week. It wasn't Kelley's Law's first go through the state legislature, but it finally passed earlier in the week.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Daniel Rutledge spoke fondly of his little girl Kelley, hoping her story can help protect others. Kelley Johnson was murdered by her husband David in 2000 as he was under a restraining order to stay away from her.

"He wound up killing her while the restraining order was in effect, when he should have really been in jail because it violated it again," said Rutledge.

Under "Kelley's Law," passed by the state legislature earlier in the week, a murder committed as someone's violating a restraining order becomes capital murder. Meaning a mandatory life sentence. Rutledge said it's a relief to see restraining orders get some teeth, so other families wouldn't have to go through what hid did as Kelley's killer repeatedly came up for parole.

"Hopefully the person that takes the restraining order out benefits the most, because hopefully because of the penalty involved in it now, the person the restraining order is against will have a little more respect for it, and maybe prevent this from happening," Rutledge continued. "In our case we wouldn't have to be worried about what's going to happen next year, or year after, or whatever as far as the person that did this getting out."

It wasn't Kelley's Law's first go through the state legislature, but it finally passed earlier in the week. Rutledge said he and his family had been advocating it for years, always looking back on Kelley' story and wondering.

"In her time, I have no way of knowing if it would have done anything, but it could have," Rutledge said, "and the possibility of it maybe having done something different to have prevented it from happening would be a big improvement over what happened."

Rutledge said he also hopes to see more similar legislation like Kelley's Law, perhaps a bill that provides tougher penalties for violating restraining orders before someone gets killed in the interest of making people take restraining orders more seriously, and maybe prevent tragedies like Kelley's.

"A lot of people get restraining orders, but very little is done to keep them safe after they get them, and I think this law will go a long way in making that happen," Rutledge said.

Copyright 2014 WAFF. All rights reserved. 

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Boy beaten with hammer while protecting sister dies

    Boy beaten with hammer while protecting sister dies

    Sunday, September 24 2017 2:13 AM EDT2017-09-24 06:13:24 GMT
    Sunday, September 24 2017 2:13 AM EDT2017-09-24 06:13:24 GMT

    The suspect in the beatings faces charges of murder, attempted murder, and lewd acts with a child under 14.

    More >>

    The suspect in the beatings faces charges of murder, attempted murder, and lewd acts with a child under 14.

    More >>
  • Police: Tennessee church shooting suspect sent suicidal text

    Police: Tennessee church shooting suspect sent suicidal text

    Monday, September 25 2017 3:27 AM EDT2017-09-25 07:27:49 GMT
    Monday, September 25 2017 11:43 PM EDT2017-09-26 03:43:16 GMT

    Police charged the suspected gunman, who killed one and shot six at a Tennessee church Sunday, with one count of murder and said multiple charges were pending.

    More >>

    Police charged the suspected gunman, who killed one and shot six at a Tennessee church Sunday, with one count of murder and said multiple charges were pending.

    More >>
  • Jerry Jones, Cowboys kneel before national anthem ahead of game

    Jerry Jones, Cowboys kneel before national anthem ahead of game

    Monday, September 25 2017 10:01 PM EDT2017-09-26 02:01:57 GMT
    Monday, September 25 2017 10:10 PM EDT2017-09-26 02:10:24 GMT

    The gesture comes after an NFL weekend when more than 200 players sat or took a knee during the national anthem across the league.

    More >>

    The gesture comes after an NFL weekend when more than 200 players sat or took a knee during the national anthem across the league.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly