ODESSA, Texas (Nexstar) – Jason Deming says all his stepmom, Monica, ever wanted to do was help people.
We have previously reported on Monica Deming and the legislation that followed in the years after her tragic death.
Police say Monica’s abusive ex-boyfriend had multiple protective orders issued against him. Yet, he was able to hide his violent past before starting a relationship with Monica, and later, killing her.
“I believe her legacy will be behind this bill,” Jason Deming said.
State Representative Brooks Landgraf of Odessa led the passage of Monica’s Law in 2019. On October 1, 2020, the Texas Protective Order Registry went live.
“If it even saves one person, one family, male or female, no matter what, then I think it’s doing it’s job,” Deming said.
The public website protects victim privacy, but shares court information, case numbers, and the person whom the order is against.
Before the registry, protective orders issued in one county were not accessible for law enforcement and courts in another county.
The registry closed that information gap, to ensure repeat offenders of domestic abuse would no longer be able to hide their crimes by moving county to county.
Monica’s Law made that information easily accessible to the public.
“I wanted to do everything that I could as a state representative here in Texas to make sure no other family had to experience the grief that they did,” said Landgraf.
This month, right before Mother’s Day, the legislation to bolster Monica’s Law, House Bill 2702, passed out of the Texas House in a near unanimous vote, 145-1.
“The bill I am working on during this legislative session seeks to strengthen the database and actually expand it beyond just domestic violence protective orders, to also include protective orders for sexual assault and human trafficking,” Landgraf said.
It would also include information on protective orders for indecent assault and stalking.
“We’re really just taking something that’s been working really well and then finding a way to make it an even better tool for the people of Texas,” Landgraf said.
“For it to keep on going, and for her name to be good, for it to be going on this long and not forgetting it, and for it helping people, it means more than anything,” Deming said.
The bill would also provide the process for protective orders that were vacated by a court to be removed from the database.
The bill now heads to the Texas State Senate.
The state’s legislative session will end May 31st.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).