A man who was just released from a Massachusetts prison killed Beverly and Brian Mauck. Daniel Tavares had been let out after serving time for killing his mother. Now Beverly’s mother says she owes it to her murdered daughter and son-in-law to change the state law.
Beverly’s mother, Karen Slater, says she feels helpless trying to hold that prison accountable for releasing Tavares. She wants to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the prison but can’t do so under the state law. According to the Mauck family, Tavares should have been held in prison longer. He apparently had a history of attacking prison guards and making threats against then-Gov. Mitt Romney.
“Even though there’s criminal action, conviction and sentencing occurred, the ability to seek civil action is not allowed,” said Rep. Timm Ormsby, R-Spokane.
Washington’s law says only the victim’s children under the age of 19 have the right to sue, but Brian and Beverly Mauck had no children.
“I’m not able to do this (fight for them) because I don’t have any grandchildren from them and I never will,” said Slater.
“I believe that’s a hole in the system,” Ormsby said.
A bill is being sponsored by Ormsby, which would allow parents to join in a lawsuit even if there are no children. This is the second time around for this bill. Last year it passed the full House only to be held up by the Senate.
The bill passed the House again this year and is now awaiting a full vote from the Senate.
Slater says she’s ready to lobby for a bill to make sure neighbors are warned when dangerous people move in.
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