GPS monitoring option available for domestic violence offenders

Tasha, a mother of two, said to be in her early 30s, was pronounced dead on the scene. (Photo Source: Facebook)
Tasha, a mother of two, said to be in her early 30s, was pronounced dead on the scene. (Photo Source: Facebook)
(Photo Source: Shelby County Sheriff's Office)
(Photo Source: Shelby County Sheriff's Office)

(WMC) - A GPS monitoring device on a domestic violence offender can notify police and even the victim that they could be in harm's way. One lawmaker believes if Charles Thomas would have had one on, maybe Tasha Thomas would still be alive.

What happened outside of the day care Tasha worked at Tuesday is a tragedy that has Rep. GA Hardaway asking questions. He says the murder-suicide that left Tasha and her husband, Charles Thomas, dead could have been prevented.

Charles was free on bond after violating an active restraining order when he reportedly shot and killed Tasha on Tuesday morning.

According to state law, Charles could have been required to wear a GPS monitoring device that would have alerted Tasha by phone when danger was near. 

"If the victim knows this tool is available then the victim can petition the court to put it in place," said Rep. Hardaway.

But many domestic violence victims don't know a GPS device is even an option.

YWCA Domestic Violence Center Executive Director Jacqueline Williams says victims needs to look to local agencies for help understanding what steps to take beyond filing a restraining order.

"That is a sheet of paper, it does not guarantee her safety," said Williams. "Create a safety plan, and know what her rights are."

"I'm upset, because this lady's life could have possibly been saved, these children could still have their mother," Hardaway added.

Charles Thomas was out on a $15,000. Some people are asking why the bond amount was not higher. The judge presiding over that case has not yet responded to WMC Action News 5's questions.

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