According to Clark County sheriff’s officials, the gunman who committed a suspected murder-suicide on Monday (26 June) forced his way into the home of his estranged wife. The victim’s two daughters, aged 12 and 16, were at home during the incident.
However, how did the system fail to protect this family? In 2020, Washington lawmakers passed the Tiffany Hill Act, which was named after a Vancouver mother whose estranged spouse murdered her.
This law permits courts to order individuals accused of domestic violence to wear GPS ankle monitors, allowing victims to know when their abuser approaches. In this case, however, the suspect was not wearing an ankle tracker.
According to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, James Jordan is suspected of murdering his estranged wife, Erica Jordan, before turning the pistol on himself. The incident took place in the Minnehaha neighborhood near NE 42nd Avenue and 56th Street. After witnessing the gunshot, it was Erica’s daughters who called 911.
“That is a lot for a community to take and for young children to take. And tonight, they go to bed without their mom,” stated Michelle Bart from the National Women’s Coalition Against Violence and Exploitation.
Do you know that an affidavit outlining a murder in Portland, Oregon, reportedly indicates that a 32-year-old man was fed up with the way his mother treated him, so he allegedly murdered her with a baseball bat:
Bart stated that this could have been avoided because the court documents piece together a chronology of Erica’s efforts to defend herself. Erica reported that James threatened to murder her in August, according to court documents.
As a result, the court issued a protection order prohibiting him from approaching her within 1,000 feet. In April, James violated this order. After his release from prison, he was required to wear a GPS ankle monitor due to his arrest. James pleaded guilty in late May, and authorities tell that he is no longer required to wear an ankle monitor.
Bart said –
“That could have saved this victim’s life. Erica didn’t even know that he was coming. That would have alerted her. And the question I have tonight is, why did the court take that away?”
As a victim’s rights advocate, Bart stated that there are laws that can protect victims of domestic violence, but that justices must apply them correctly.
She said –
“We can’t keep meeting like this over ludicrous decisions from the court system that need to go back and get more training to understand what victims are going through.”
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