Could More Be Done To Protect Victims Of Domestic Violence

Police say Tara O'Shea was brutally killed by her estranged husband, Jeremiah Monell, in front of their son, even though she had a restraining order against him.

"You don't know how many times she came to my house beat up," said Penny Morey, victim's friend.

Friends of the 35-year-old mother say she predicted her life would end at the hands of her husband.

"She was afraid that he was going to kill her, and he did," said Morey.

According to friends, the mother of five did everything she could to protect herself, but they say that wasn't enough.

"She went through the courts and got a restraining order against him. And every time he broke the restraining order she would call the cops and they wouldn't do anything," said Jennifer Messeck, childhood friend.

On Monday morning, Monell is accused of murdering her, by slashing her throat in front of their 12-year-old son.

"Don't wait for the courts because they are not going to protect you, so run," said Messeck.

It's a story Assemblyman Troy Singleton says he knows all too well. Lisa Zindell, one of his wife's sorority sisters, was killed by her ex-fiancé, beaten and strangled in Tom's River in 2009.

"Every minute of delay where someone's life can be hanging in the balance. This should already be a law," said Assemblyman Singleton (D-Moorestown).

Singleton has been a sponsor of a bill called Lisa's Law, that has already passed the legislature twice.

The bill would allow for electronic, GPS monitoring of violent offenders who have violated their restraining orders. The system would alert victims and law enforcement if the offender comes within an established perimeter, like the victim's home.

"What we can do is give each and every individual some sense of peace of mind and somewhat of a fighting chance," said Singleton.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie conditionally vetoed the bill in 2015, and pocket vetoed it when it was passed in 2016. The bill is now making its way through the legislature again.

"The technology exists, the protocol exists, and we want to try and give domestic violence survivors peace of mind so that they can have an opportunity to go about their day, and know that they don't always have to look over their shoulder," said Singleton.

In a statement, Gov. Christie said he vetoed the bill initially because he did not believe there was adequate technology and resources. And pocket vetoed it a second time, saying the technology was limited, not reliable enough and could give victims a false sense of security.

Original Article

TROY SINGLETON
ASSEMBLYMAN, 7TH DISTRICT
400 NORTH CHURCH STREET, SUITE 260
MOORESTOWN, NJ 08057
 
Tel: 856-234-2790
Fax: 856-234-2957
Email: AsmSingleton@njleg.org