NEW HANOVER CO. -- Nearly 80 women were killed last year in North Carolina because of domestic violence. That's an alarming number for District Attorney Ben David. He's heading to Raleigh Thursday to testify before state legislators about a bill that would create stiffer punishments for people who break domestic violence protective orders.
David says he's backing a bill that would automatically charge someone with first degree murder if they kill someone who has a restraining order against them.
He says he's handled three domestic murders in New Hanover County since 2002 that he's using as examples when testifying Thursday. He says Gail Tice, Christen Naujoks and Gladys Bryant took out protective orders, but that didn't keep them from being killed.
"All three of these women who were black, white, young, old, rich and poor had reached out for help into our court system to get that domestic violence protective order, and they were killed by an intimate partner or husband. We need to be able to punish these cases to the fullest extent of the law, and that's first degree murder and nothing less," said District Attorney David.
Senator Julia Boseman proposed the bill and says she hopes it will reduce the frequency of these crimes. She plans to play a clip for other state legislators from the 9-1-1 call made by Tice after she was shot.