Hearing held on Md. domestic violence bill
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - There have been three domestic-related murders in Prince George's County in the last 24 hours and a total of seven so far this year.
On Wednesday, a Maryland lawmaker called it a true crisis as a hearing on a domestic violence bill was being heard in Annapolis. The state's attorney for Prince George's County spoke out as well.
Lawmakers held a hearing on House Bill 1396, which would add harassment and malicious destruction of property to the definition of abuse. It is a bill that has wide support in the General Assembly.
The hearing comes one day after two women were murdered in Cheverly, Maryland by a man who then took his own life.
Maryland State Del. Angela Angel (D-Prince George's County) introduced the bill last month after learning the courts could do nothing for her when she said her estranged husband repeatedly harassed her. A description of what he was doing was not in the law.
Del. Angel said what was happening in Prince George's County is now at a crisis level.
"We have peace order laws that offer those protections against harassment and malicious destruction of property," she said. "That when you are being intimated, harassed and controlled, you can go to the courts and receive protections from your abuser. Yet we have created this exception, this broad, unexplained, illogical exception that says it's okay to torment, and harass and intimidate someone if you have a domestic relationship. And abusers are using this to manipulate and control their victims."
Prince George's County State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said what happened to the victims, Tarekka Jones and Jalisa Walls-Harris, in Cheverly Monday night is every prosecutor's nightmare and the absolute worst-case scenario.
She said Jones refused to cooperate after the man accused of killing her was arrested last month. In fact, she paid to bail Kevin Reynolds out of jail, and within a week, he came back with a gun.