VANCOUVER, Wash. — A Washington bill aimed at protecting domestic violence victims moved closer to becoming a law Wednesday. It is named after Tiffany Hill, a Vancouver mom murdered in front of her kids by her estranged husband.
The bill passed the Washington house unanimously Wednesday, but it was amended so now it has to go back to the senate. That could happen in the next few days.
Hill was a mother of three, a Marine, and someone who did everything right as she tried to escape domestic violence. Her story is tragic and unfair.
Last November, she was murdered by her estranged husband Keland Hill in the parking lot of a Vancouver school in front of her three kids. He also shot her mother, who survived. Then, Keland Hill took his own life.
There was a restraining order in place, but it was not enough to protect her. Republican State Senator Lynda Wilson thinks this new bill could have.
“The day she was killed, he was in that parking lot for a half an hour beforehand, so she would've been well aware, they would've known that he was there, she could've gone into the school or stayed in the school and they could've gone into lockdown, I mean there was a whole lot of things that could have happened,” Senator Wilson explained.
A survivor of domestic abuse herself, Senator Wilson has tried for three years to pass a bill that would help victims like Tiffany keep track of their abusers. The difference this year was Tiffany's story.
“We really did need a hero to get it through and Tiffany Hill who served her country with honor as a marine became that hero,” Wilson said.
Keland Hill killed Tiffany just five days after getting out of jail on bail. He was released despite a warning from prosecutors.
“The state believes that if the defendant is released he will kill the victim,” the prosecutor told the judge at his court hearing.
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Tiffany’s friends traveled to Olympia to testify in favor of the bill. They watched from the gallery as it passed the House unanimously with an amendment Wednesday and hugged as lawmakers clapped to thank them for making this happen.
The bill allows the state to set up an app that corresponds with ankle monitors. When the abuser gets too close, close enough to violate their restraining order, the app alerts the victim on their cell phone so they can get away.
Tiffany's friends hope she is the reason someone else's life is saved.
Senator Wilson is confident it will pass both the Senate and House again and head to the governor's desk for a signature in the next few days.