PORTLAND, Ore. — The murders of mother Meshay Melendez her 7-year-old daughter Layla Stewart in March led to an outpouring of grief in the Vancouver community, along with anger and questions about whether more could have been done to protect them.
Melendez' ex-boyfriend Kirkland Warren was arrested and charged with the murders. He had previously been ordered not to contact Melendez following a domestic violence arrest in December, but he was released from jail after that incident without electronic monitoring.
That omission has been met with increased scrutiny due to the passage of the Tiffany Hill Act in 2020, which is supposed to make electronic monitoring an option to help protect domestic violence victims.
This week's episode of Straight Talk discusses the Tiffany Hill law, why it might not have been used in the case of Meshay and Layla, and what actions can help prevent future domestic violence.
All four of this week's guests have previously appeared separately on Straight Talk: Michelle Bart, president and founder of the National Women's Coalition Against Violence and Exploitation; Vancouver police Sergeant Tanya Wollstein, who investigated the Tiffany Hill case; Washington Republican State Sen. Lynda Wilson, who helped write the Tiffany Hill legislation; and Democratic State Rep. Sharon Wylie.
The guests stuck around for a bonus episode to discuss the role of bail and other legal tools in preventing domestic violence and protecting victims. The full episode can be viewed in the player above, and the bonus episode can be viewed below:
Straight Talk airs Friday at 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday at 6:30 p.m.