Mo. legislation: Track domestic violence suspects with ankle bracelets

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CREIGHTON, Mo. — If you think restraining orders aren’t worth the paper they’re written on, you might feel differently if there was a way to electronically track people who’ve been served with a restraining order.

Now a Missouri state senator is proposing a law to do just that. Republican Ed Emery of Barton says he’s modeling his bill after “Lisa’s Law” in New Jersey. That measure is named after Lisa Zendel. Her former fiancée killed her in a murder-suicide in 2009.

“Lisa’s Law” calls for the electronic monitoring of repeat domestic violence offenders. It’s now awaiting NJ Governor Chris Christie’s signature.

The Missouri measure, Senate Bill 640, was inspired by Lisa Salmon of Creighton, Mo. She was found dead of a gunshot wound in March of 2013. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office says she died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, either accidental or suicide.

But her parents, Christine and Elmer Hines, and fiancée Dan Cameron have never accepted that conclusion. They say Salmon had been threatened repeatedly by an old boyfriend. Cameron says he and Salmon had a contentious court hearing with her ex-boyfriend the day before she died.

Christine Hines says Lisa repeatedly warned friends and family, “If something happened to her, go after him.”

Cameron says Lisa’s ex-boyfriend had a second-degree assault case pending because he was accused of attacking Salmon in her home with a knife. He says while the charge was pending, a judge had ordered the ex-boyfriend to have no contact with Salmon.

Cameron and Lisa’s parents say the best way to enforce “No Contact” orders is with an ankle bracelet worn by domestic violence suspects.

Senator Emery says his proposal would track offenders with an ankle bracelet. If they get within a certain range of their victim, law enforcement and victims would receive a text alert.

“I think it could be life saving,” said Christine Hines, “I think it allows them (victims) to get away from the situation when they know that they’re (offenders) in that area and they are close. They (victims) can at least try to avoid a confrontation.”

Senator Emery admits the technology is still a work in progress but hopes to work with law enforcement to ensure his bill’s passage. He told FOX 4 his measure would be aimed at people who have already violated a restraining order at least once.

twitter: @RobLowTV

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