Kilah's Law draft expected soon; abuse registry left out - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Kilah's Law draft expected soon; abuse registry left out

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MINT HILL, NC (WBTV) - People lined up at a booth to sign petitions in support of strengthening child abuse laws Saturday.

Kilah's mother, grandmother and other supporters spoke to the public about the need for change during the Mint Hill Madness event.

Police say Kilah Davenport's stepfather, 22 year old Joshua Houser, threw the child against a wall which left her with brain damage.

Kirbi Davenport says her daughter continues to make progress. She's eating more on her own, rolling over and smiling.

The bill named after the 3-year-old is progressing too.

The sponsor of Kilah's Law, Representative Craig Horn, expects a draft to be ready next week.

"My goal is to have a good bill ready to file day one and with any luck at all I'll have it through committee and on the governor's desk in 60 days," Horn said.

But Horn says a child abuse registry won't be a part of bill. It would've required abusers to register with the state much like sex offenders.

He says including it would pose more legal challenges and could hold the bill back from being passed.

Right now, the focus is on raising sentencing guidelines to keep abusers off the streets for 25 to life.

"With the registry we are ok with it not being a part of it right now. As long as these people get a life sentence like these victim's have or the survivor's have," Davenport said.

"I am confident we will move something through but I also feel a great responsibility to do it right the first time," Horn said.

When the final draft of the bill comes back, Horn says he plans to have the petitions right beside it. Supporters expected to gather 3,000 signatures at the Mint Hill Madness event.

"Not only is the public in very much favor of Kilah's law..the public is demanding the passage of Kilah's law," Founder of the Justice For All Coalition Jeff Gerber said.

Union County commissioners and several surrounding towns have passed resolutions supporting Kilah's law.

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