By Shaun Boyd
DENVER (CBS4) – A new law aimed at protecting victims of stalking and domestic violence takes effect next week.
Reports of domestic violence – including stalking – have been increasing in Colorado for the last decade.
Last year alone, there were more than 18,000 reports of domestic violence. But, it was a case involving a Colorado Springs woman that prompted the new law.
Police say Janice Nam’s ex-boyfriend shot her in the head last year, seven months after he was convicted of felony stalking but before he was sentenced.
Glen Galloway, police say, was awaiting sentencing when he cut his ankle monitor, killed a man to steal his truck, and broke into Nam’s house and shot her in the head.
“Right now, there’s a gap of six to eight weeks before sentencing after conviction, and unfortunately that was the gap and time period that Janice Nam lost her life,” said Representative Clarice Navarro (R) Pueblo, the sponsor of the bill.
Navarro closed the gap by passing a law that denies bail to anyone convicted of felony stalking or habitual domestic violence.
Instead, they will stay behind bars during the time between their conviction and sentencing.
“The convicted person has all this rage and anger,” says Navarro, “and that’s the perfect time for them to act out and retaliate.”
She says she brought the bill because of Janice Nam, but admits the terror associated with domestic violence is also personal.
“I felt very compelled to speak out about domestic violence and stalking. As a young child, I grew up in a home where there was domestic violence and, at that time, we didn’t have any safety. We were always living in fear.”
Navarro hopes the new law will spare others that fear and potentially spare lives.
“Now our victims can go home after they’ve gone through a very stressful court case and have that conviction and know that they can go home and be safe and get their life back together and move on.”
The El Paso County District Attorney’s office is seeking the death penalty against Galloway. It’s the first time in a decade they have asked for death in a case.