House committee says kill bill limiting arrests for violations of protective orders
The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee recessed its hearing on House Bill 1608 last week, after the prime sponsor Rep. Harold Reilly, R-Hill, failed to appear. He did not appear today and the committee decided to recommend the bill be killed.
After the committee's 13-0 vote, Charbonneau's father, John Cantin said he was pleased with the committee's action. 'It's very nice to see that the committee and everybody else had the common sense to know this is a terrible bill,' he said.
He said not only does a person with a protective order need police to make an arrest to defuse a volatile situation, police who respond cannot take chances and need to be able to make a quick arrest.
Melissa Charbonneau, 29, was killed Oct. 22, 2009, by her husband, Jonathan, in a murder-suicide at their home on Jewett Street in Manchester. She was shot three times in the stomach and once in the neck with a hunting rifle as she went to the house with her father to pick up her belongings.
She had obtained a restraining order against her husband earlier that week and had been awarded custody of their minor child.
Along with limiting the actions that could result in an arrest for violating a protective order, the bill also removes a section of law giving the victim the authority to file a criminal complaint against his or her spouse or partner.
The bill is one of several lawmakers will deal with this session that would change the state's domestic violence laws.