Tiffany Hill’s death ‘impetus’ for domestic violence law

Washington

Washington State Sen. Lynda Wilson spearheading bill

VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — When Tiffany Hill was shot to death November 26 while she sat in her car with her kids and mom in the Anderson Elementary parking lot, she had a restraining order in place against her estranged husband, Keland Hill.

Keland Hill was out of jail on bail at the time. After fatally shooting Tiffany and wounding her mother, Keland fled and led police on a short chase. He got out of his car near NE Padden Parkway and Andresen Road with a gun to his head and pulled the trigger.

In the days after her murder, KOIN 6 News learned Tiffany reported her husband to police multiple times for domestic violence and for violating a protection order.

When Washington State Sen. Lynda Wilson heard about the killing, she said “it made me sick to my stomach.”

Wilson, a member of the Washington senate’s Law and Justice Committee, first thought about the domestic violence bill she’s been spearheading for 2 years. That bill would modify Washington law to allow for GPS monitoring of an abuser, specifically with technology that would alert the survivor in real time on their smart phone if that abuser was near.

Washington State Sen. Lynda Wilson, December 20, 2019 (KOIN)

“If a judge decides he wants to (order this in a case) then there would be some sort of technology, whether a bracelet or some sort of thing, that would be non-removeable that they would have to have on them,” she said.

If Tiffany had been alerted 2 or 3 minutes before, she may have been able to get out of harm’s way “and maybe driven to the sheriff’s office or something.”

No one will ever know if that kind of technology could have saved Tiffany. But Wilson believes it could make a difference for survivors.

“My first thought was I wish I’d had the bill passed and become law so that it maybe would have helped her,” Wilson told KOIN 6 News. “But it hasn’t. So I’m hoping maybe this will be the impetus to get that through this year. It’s just such a sad situation and now those kids have no mom and no idea.”

Two women inside a van were shot outside Vancouver’s Sarah J Anderson Elementary School, Nov. 26, 2019. (KOIN)

Senate Bill 5149 is ready to go in 2020, she said.

“I’m hoping that Tiffany’s story will help to convince them that this is the right thing to do.”

She said the bill stalled in the Washington House, but hopes it will get through there and onto the Senate. Wilson said she introduced a second bill that remains active and she plans to bring it up again within the first week of the new session.

She said she’s also willing to look at bail in domestic violence cases. Keland Hill posted bail shortly before he killed Tiffany.

Earlier this week, Tiffany Hill was laid to rest in her hometown of Brooklyn, New York.

Sen. Lynda Wilson has a personal connection with domestic violence, growing up in a family with a “very abusive” father. “As a child I was watching this on a regular basis, so I know what it does to the kids, I know what it does to your psyche.”

And she’s working to get this passed into law in Washington.

“I am hopeful,” she said. “I do believe we should be able to get this through this year.”

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