Bill would authorize domestic violence task force |

Bill would authorize domestic violence task force

(AP) – Sorority sisters of a slain Las Vegas woman joined law enforcement officials Monday in backing a bill that would empower Nevada’s attorney general to create task forces to examine fatal domestic violence cases.

Dressed in the crimson and cream colors of Delta Sigma Theta, Verna Stringer and other members of the Las Vegas alumnae chapter said they were prompted to testify in support of SB66 by the death of fellow member Bronwyn Greene Richards, who was killed April 16, 2010. Police said Richards, a Clark County arts teacher, was killed by her husband.

“We lost our beloved sister,” Stringer said, her voice choking with emotion.

Under current law a court or local agency can create task forces to examine domestic violence cases. With SB66, the attorney general would be able to do so on request or on its own initiative.

Brett Kandt, deputy attorney general, said the goal is to review the history that leads up to a fatality and how the system handled it. With this information, Kandt said the task force will be able to understand when a person first came in contact with law enforcement and try to determine from that point what could have been done to stem the violence, and hopefully prevent future deaths.

Douglas County District Attorney Mark Jackson also came out on behalf of the proposal. Jackson told the panel that over the past 10 years, “every first-degree murder case has involved issues of domestic violence” in his county. Jackson said he’s confident the attorney general’s help would curtail the number of fatal cases.

Mike Sprinkle, vice chair of the Nevada Council for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, told the committee “Nevada leads the nation in domestic-related homicide. This fact is horrific.”

Assistant Attorney General Keith Munro assured the panel that the new responsibilities would not require additional funding.

No action was taken by the Senate Judiciary Committee.