Law aims to help domestic violence victims
Victims of domestic violence and abuse would get more protection from defendants under a bill passed unanimously by the Virginia House of Delegates this week.
House Bill 2106 would allow judges to require Virginians who are facing criminal charges, have violated a protective order or are on probation to wear GPS tracking devices.
The tracking devices would alert law enforcement agencies and/or the victim if the defendant comes too close to the complainant or the complainant’s house or workplace, according to the bill’s sponsor, Delegate Ward L. Armstrong, D-Martinsville.
He dubbed HB 2106 the Linda Bostwick Act in memory of a Collinsville resident killed by her estranged husband in 2007.
Bostwick had obtained a protective order against the man, and he had violated the order previously, Armstrong said. He said the estranged husband shot Bostwick to death at her workplace and then killed himself.
Bostwick’s death prompted Jeff and Kim Adkins to ask Armstrong to propose legislation allowing judges to require Virginians who violate protective orders to wear tracking devices.
Jeff Adkins was Bostwick’s employer when she was killed; his wife Kim is the mayor of Martinsville.
“Jeff and Kim came to me and said they had been looking over the Internet where they saw GPS technology being used to track persons in a criminal context, and it would be a good idea if we could implement (the technology) in a protective order situation,” Armstrong said.
If such a law had been in effect in 2007, Armstrong said, “Linda Bostwick could have been given some advanced notice coming to her place of employment – she would have had time to get away.”
Armstrong proposed similar legislation last year, but the bill was referred to the Virginia State Crime Commission for study. The commission reviewed and approved HB 2106 before this session.
Last week, the House Courts of Justice Committee unanimously endorsed the measure. The House followed suit on Tuesday by voting 99-0 in favor of the bill.
Some legislators had concerns about who would pay for the tracking technology. Under HB 2106, the violators of protective orders required to wear the devices will pay for the devices, Armstrong said. He said that’s only fair.
“You’re getting not just someone that has a protective order against them, but it is someone who’s demonstrated a propensity to thumb their nose at the court or the judicial system and not abide by the law,” Armstrong said. “In that situation, they ought to pay for it.”
After the House passed the bill, Armstrong said, “Although this was a terrible tragedy, the death of Linda Bostwick has spurred legislation that will save other victims who find themselves in her situation. My appreciation goes out to Jeff and Kim Adkins for suggesting this important way to fight domestic violence.”
Kim Adkins said the legislation might spare other people from Bostwick’s fate.
“Prior to this legislation, Friends for Linda had been advocating for a new law requiring habitual offenders of protective orders to wear GPS tracking devices,” Kim Adkins said.
“We are convinced this new law will do more to help victims of domestic violence and stalking. Our intent was to put a name and face with the positive impact this law may have on these victims and their families. The Linda Bostwick Act is going to save lives.”
HB 2106 is now under consideration by the Senate.
To track or comment on House Bill 2106, visit: http://www.richmondsunlight.com/bill/2011/hb2106
Holman Middle School student Victoria Nguyen recently was named Miss Virginia American Coed Junior Teen after competing in the Miss Virginia American Coed pageant in Williamsburg. She was the youngest competitor in her division. Nguyen now will advance to represent Virginia at the 2015 Miss American Junior Teen Pageant at Walt Disney World in Florida in November. > Read more.
Companion Extraordinaire Home Care and Skilled Services will be honoring veterans and current military members May 14 at 11 a.m. The event will take place at 5311 Lakeside Avenue.
Companion Extraordinaire dedicated a hall in its new Lakeside office as a “Wall of Honor” and will be presenting 13 military service men and women with certificates as well as placing their service photos on the wall.
> Read more.
Public vote open through Friday to select winner
Citizen Staff Reports
Henrico resident Haley Malloy is one of three national finalists for a $10,000 scholarship, whose winner will be determined by the vote of the public.
Malloy is a finalist for The Goddard School Anthony A. Martino Scholarship, which is open annually to any high school junior or senior who graduated from a Goddard School pre-kindergarten or kindergarten program. Applicants are evaluated based upon the work ethic and perseverance they have demonstrated – two key characteristics of Martino, the founder of the Goddard School franchise system. > Read more.
Relax this holiday weekend with Fridays Uncorked at Southern Season – taste wines from the Roman Empire! Or at James River Cellars who is hosting “Experience Virginia” – sample Virginia wine, beer, cider and mead. And what goes better with wine than strawberries – an annual tradition in Varina, the Gallmeyer Farms’ Strawberry Fields Festival is tomorrow. Other fun happenings this weekend include: “A Little Princess” at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen; weekly dance at American Legion Post 125; and National Theatre Live’s “Man and Superman” at the University of Richmond. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
Final performance of 2015 season – ‘Quartet’ – starts this week
CAT Theatre’s final show of its 51st season – Quartet by Ronald Harwood – will open May 22 and run through June 6. It will be the show’s Richmond-area premiere.
The theatre also announced its four-show schedule for its 52nd season, which will begin in October and continue into June 2016, and announced a new partnership with The Bifocals Theatre Project, an outreach program into senior communities in the Richmond region. > Read more.
It’s a beautiful weekend to spend outdoors and Henrico has many options to choose from! The 31st annual Lebanese Food Festival begins today on the grounds of St. Anthony’s Maronite Catholic Church. The MISS Foundation’s Kindness Walk is tomorrow, as well as the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Great Strides Walk. Take a Sunday Stroll at Dorey Park with the Pocahontas Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society or raise money for the March of Dimes at the March for Babies in Innsbrook. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
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