WASHINGTON - D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has signed legislation into law that will close a loophole that previously allowed criminals who tampered with their GPS monitoring devices to not face any additional punishment.
Under the new law, people on probation or on parole who attempt to remove, disable, fail to charge or attempt to mask the monitoring device's signal could face up to six months in prison.
This new legislation comes after Tricia McCauley, a D.C. actress and yoga instructor, was found dead in her car after she went missing on Christmas. Police charged 29-year-old Adrian Duane Johnson with her murder.
But according to court records, Johnson has had an extensive criminal history and had even been ordered by a judge to enroll in GPS monitoring days before McCauley's death. However, he failed to show up to have the device placed on him.
Bowser said on Wednesday during the bill signing that she is instructing jail staff and other departments to work together to have monitoring devices to be placed on immediately once an order is given by the courts.
"We do know from Miss McCauley's case, I think we have identified a very significant space for improvement," the mayor said. "So how can we make sure when a offender is ordered to get a GPS device, that offender gets it immediately? One thing the deputy mayor and our Department of Corrections will work on with our federal partners is making space and time available in our jail ... for the supervising agencies to have their staff available to put on the GPS monitoring devices."