BATON ROUGE, LA (KSLA) - A bill named for a DeSoto Parish woman killed by her estranged husband now boasts Gov. Bobby Jindal's signature.
The bill passed the Louisiana legislature earlier this week, less than a month after her death.
Gwen Salley was shot to death by her husband Michael Salley on May 2, just a week after she filed a protective order against him. The order filed on April 29 listed the Salley's divorce as pending.
Michael Salley had just been released on $50,000 bond from a previous domestic violence charge when he abducted the 39-year-old mother from their daughter's daycare in Stonewall, forced her to drive into Caddo Parish and down a logging road, and then shot and killed her before turning the gun on himself.
HB 1142 establishes grounds for immediate divorce when a spouse or child has been physically or sexually abused by the other spouse and when a protective order or injunction has been issued against the other spouse. It also tightens bail restrictions for domestic violence offenders.
Gwen's Law received unanimous approval in the House Tuesday, three weeks to the day Salley was buried. Jindal signed it into law on Thursday.
"We can't do anything to bring Gwen back, but I know she's up there in Heaven smiling and knowing that this bill may save even one person's life," said Benny Cox, Salley's father.
Burrell said, "It is my hope that the bill we are putting forth today is comprehensive enough to save many lives. This cooling off period is something we haven't had before now. It provides an opportunity to evaluate the individual who is presenting the potential harm in this situation.
"By doing this, we can evaluate this person to see if he or she needs help or treatment. I am excited that this divine intervention has come at the time we need it - helping in the area of domestic violence."