CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Domestic violence bill moves to full Utah Senate for vote

Jan 25, 2023, 12:58 PM | Updated: 1:07 pm

FILE: Purple flags at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City. A Utah lawmaker says it's too easy for a rest...

FILE: Purple flags at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City. A Utah lawmaker says it's too easy for a restricted person convicted of domestic violence to plead down and serve less time. A new proposal would change the penalty to a second-degree felony and increase jail time to a minimum of one year. (Yukai Peng/Deseret News)

(Yukai Peng/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill that would mandate lethality assessments for domestic violence victims has passed a senate committee by a unanimous vote.

The Senate Judiciary Committee heard from the parents of a woman who was shot and killed by an ex-partner before passing a bill that creates a database to track domestic violence incidents. 

Amanda Mayne was a cousin of Utah Lt.Governor Deidre Henderson who spoke in favor of the bill before it had passed.

“There are a lot of people, a lot of victims, a lot of families that have suffered. And I wanted to see if we could figure out ways to do better,” said Henderson.

Why streamlining domestic violence reports can help

According to Amanda’s parents, police had been called multiple times over the years. But each time they came to investigate they were only aware of the incident happening then and there. 

Police say after killing Amanda Mayne, Taylor Martin killed himself.

The bill, S.B. 117 Domestic Violence Amendments, would streamline domestic violence reports, placing them all into one database.  With this information at their fingertips, police can know more about the victim and perpetrator’s history before arriving at the scene. 

During the hearing, the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, read through some of the questions that officers would ask a reported victim.

“If the aggressor used a weapon against the victim or threatened the victim with a weapon, if the aggressor even threatened to kill the victim or the victim’s children, and number three, if the victim believes the aggressor will try and kill the victim. Those first three of the 11 questions are most important,” said Weiler.

S.B.117  was passed by the Utah Senate Judiciary Committee without objection and moves to the full Senate for a vote.

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Domestic violence bill moves to full Utah Senate for vote