‘Gwen’s Bill’ Would Bar Bail In Felony Domestic Abuse Cases
Legislation that seeks to have a person who's arrested on felony domestic abuse sit in jail without bail to "cool off" advances out of committee Tuesday.
Theresa Donald is the sister of a Desoto Parish mother who was shot to death May 2 — just three days after her alleged killer husband was arrested for holding her at gunpoint.
This is written in the blood of an innocent woman
"He was released 18 hours after he was incarcerated, and she had no say in when he was released," said Donald. "So days after he was incarcerated, he was murdering my sister."
Michael Salley was arrested April 29 for two felony counts and was released less than 24 hours later after posting $50,000 bond. He allegedly shot and killed his wife, Gwen Salley, 48 hours later before killing himself.
Attorney Gary Evans said "Gwen's Law" would give the victim an opportunity to plea for her life.
"This is written in the blood of an innocent woman," said Evans. "She never had an opportunity to say 'Please do not release this man,' who was clearly dangerous."
Evans said the law would also give judges another tool to make a danger assessment when making a bail decision.
He said when dealing with a felony domestic abuse case, a few extra days behind bars can make a huge difference for someone who is having thoughts of killing.
"It passes, believe it or not," Evans said. "These people, sometimes — after a few days of cooling down — get their minds back and they might not have done it. In this case, this would also have helped the perpetrator.... He'd still be alive, and this child would have a father and a mother."
House Bill 1142 by Rep. Roy Burrell now heads to the Senate floor.