A Law That Could Save Lives: Gwen's Law

BATON ROUGE (WVLA, NBC 33) -- This week, a law that could save lives is heading to the governor's desk.  

It's called Gwen's Law, named for the late Gwen Cox, who was killed in an act of domestic violence.  

In fact, it was her family who helped to make sure Gwen's legacy lives on in Louisiana's law books.

In less than 2 weeks -- Gwen's family has endured pain they say no one -- should have to go through.
"I have been through a lot of death, but nothing hurts like losing a child," said Bennie Cox, Gwen's father.
Gwen Cox, 39, was killed by her husband two weeks ago-- and buried by her family one week ago.  They say  say there's a flaw in the system.

"If he had a cooling down period of time which this law allows, he could have said, 'you know I don't want to take my life," said Bennie.
Her husband did take his own life, but first -- he took the life of his wife, too. 
"She was my best friend, wonderful mother of a 7-year old, that was her life," said Theresa Pearl Donald, Gwen's sister.
A life her husband-- Michael Salley -- threatened more than once.  The first time, he held his family hostage-- but ended up letting them go.  That's when Gwen knew-- it was time to go.
Salley was arrested soon after and a restraining order was issued. And the very judge that signed the order -- also signed Salley's bond to be released.
And he was-- just 18 hours later.   Then he went to his daughter's daycare-- waited outside for Gwen and their little girl -- and, shot Gwen and then himself.  Their little girl got away.
"I want it to be called Gwen's Law so hopefully she didn't die in vain if it could just save one other woman one other life I know she will be happy about that," said Gwen's father.
Now the community, lawmakers and this family have come together to prevent this from happening again.
This bill gives the victim a voice about what happens to her abuse --  Gwen's family truly believes things could have turned out differently, and Samantha -- wouldn't be growing up without a mom or a dad.
The law provides a way for a victim to have input on whether or not bail is set.
The district attorney will also be able to participate in the process.
Gwen's Law also directs the judge to make a danger assessment  to see if they need a cool down period.

Even if granted bail-- it will also allow the judge to order an electronic monitoring device, so they know where they are at all times.

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